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Keyword: ‘plan’

Old plan thoughts carry over to the new plan

Here some old plan thoughts that carry over into the new plan that Jesus has revealed to us. Mostly things we should avoid doing but one affirmative act that is one of the two great laws that Jesus said to do. In His way, loving our neighbor is the BIG thing. If we do, we won’t pervert justice, show favoritism, gossip or seek revenge. God is love.

Don’t pervert justice.

Don’t show favoritism to either the poor or the great.

Judge on the basis of what is right.

Don’t spread gossip and rumors.

Don’t just stand by when your neighbor’s life is in danger.

I am God.

Don’t secretly hate your neighbor. If you have something against him, get it out into the open; otherwise you are an accomplice in his guilt.

Don’t seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

I am God.

–Leviticus 19:15-18 The Message Bible

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What if there is no plan B in God’s mind?

January 27, 2013 1 comment

It is so very easy to fall into the trap that someone else will change what we so love to complain about. Surely they will.

Or will they?

What if they don’t?

What if God is depending on me to be the one to start the change?

What if there is no plan B in God’s mind?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~~ Gandhi

Categories: Devotion, Personal, Quotes Tags: , ,

Will we follow God’s new plan?

November 26, 2012 3 comments

Jesus habit was to teach about the way God intended things to be. He had a huge number of people that always showed up to hear what He had to say. He knew what He was talking about because He didn’t do anything but what He saw and heard from His Father. And like so many times, the religious scholars of the day tested him and tried to trip Him up. They tried and tried but it never worked.

He was educating us about the new plan. Not the way of Moses or the prophets and the old plan. Much of the old plan was because of the us not God. Jesus had a message of good news and the way it was intended to be all along.

Jesus challenges us to understand the way God wants things in His world (Kingdom). Let’s get moving with God’s new plan.

Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.

Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking …

“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.

“But at the beginning of creation God …” (Mark 10:1-5)

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What is the new plan?

September 12, 2012 1 comment

So God had an old plan before the new one. It was the plan based on following lots of rules (laws). The old plan was pointing to the new way all along the way. It couldn’t complete anyone who followed it. Even then, He had friends, that based on their heart, pointed to the new plan as well.

Much of our “religion” and current “Christianity” is actually based on the old plan. What is the clue? Is the emphasis on the rules of our Father or the relationship with our Father? The new plan is “Rules” 0 — “Relationship” 10. Game over!!!

May I be complete based on His new plan. So be it.

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What is God’s master plan?

August 15, 2012 2 comments

God has a plan.

Stop and think about that.

God has a plan. He has a plan for us. He has had His eye on us. Looking to do great things in and through us.

God has a “master plan” for how everything works together to bring His ultimate designs together. He is God. This is the way he works. He isn’t into “one offs”. It all works together for achieving what He has had in mind all this time.

“Long before we first heard of the Messiah and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” ~Apostle Paul (Ephesians 1:12 The Message)

How long has God been planning to adopt us?

August 3, 2012 1 comment

When you are thinking about someone all the time, it is clear you love them. They are the focus of your love. You take great pleasure in planning out the most simple things to please them. Nothing is too lavish to give them. It doesn’t matter what it costs, you take pleasure in making it happen. You make every moment a celebration. You are blessed in making it happen.  Lavish love

This is our God and His love for  us. He has planned it all out from the beginning. We have been and always will be on His mind.

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. Ephesians 1:3-6

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What is God’s new plan for us?

Our Father had a new plan for us. It wasn’t based on the old plan where sacrificing could cover up for us missing the goal that God has for us. Nope. No more “things to do” to be in right standing. Now that is good news.

Jesus took care of all of that. Nothing left we can do to get right with God. Now Jesus has taken His seat of honor next to our Father. It is the seat of absolute perfection right alongside God. Not even angels have that kind of honor. Angels have a special place with God. Jesus is way above that. Jesus is the faithful Son. God celebrates what Jesus did for us.

Where does all my planning get me?

May 19, 2012 1 comment

A friend sent me this quote. I have reading it over and over. Not sure who to attribute it to but thought it was worth sharing.

“You will not find My Peace by engaging in excessive planning:  attempting to control what will happen to you in the future.  This is a commonly practiced form of unbelief.  When your mind spins with multiple plans, Peace may sometimes seem to be within your grasp; yet it always eludes you. Just when you think you have prepared for all possibilities, something unexpected pops up and throws things into confusion. 

I did not design the human mind to figure out the future.  That is beyond your capability.  I crafted your mind for continual communication with Me.  Bring Me all your needs your hopes and fears.  Commit everything into My care.  Turn from the path of planning to the path of Peace. “

 

Is there a plan B?

April 5, 2012 1 comment

There is no plan B. There is no backup plan. Contingencies are out the door.

The enemy lies to me leading me to believe if I don’t do what my Father wants, then someone else will do it. That isn’t the truth.

Here is the truth. God created me to join Him in the work He is doing. This is the good work He has gotten ready for me to do. This is the work I had better be doing. He doesn’t have anyone else in mind to do it. He doesn’t have a plan B. There is no backup plan. It is His plan for me.

God is ready. Am I?

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

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“A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 16, 2012 Leave a comment

“God expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part.” ~~Oswald Chambers

December 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Does planning help?

Paul knew how to plan. Fortunately, he listened to God and so sometimes was unwilling to follow what he planned so he could do what God wanted. It would have given him personal pleasure to do what he wanted. It didn’t mean that God didn’t want him to see his plans through at some point. It just had to be in God’s good timing and not Paul’s.

The thing to pursue is what God wants on any given day. He has ultimate goals for us and tasks to accomplish every day. That is all that really counts at any given point in time.

Please don’t misinterpret my failure to visit you, friends. You have no idea how many times I’ve made plans for Rome. I’ve been determined to get some personal enjoyment out of God’s work among you, as I have in so many other non-Jewish towns and communities. But something has always come up and prevented it.  Romans 1:13-15

Kiss your plans goodbye

Jesus has a way of being clear. He leaves no doubt. In God’s world, God comes first. That is all there is to it. We can’t negotiate with Him.

So, kiss everything else goodbye if you want to follow Jesus.

Yes, you heard it right. Jesus said it and Jesus meant it.

“Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.”  Luke 14

May I have the courage to kiss all my plans goodbye. May He come first always.

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In God’s new plan, there aren’t anymor

January 11, 2011 Leave a comment

In God’s new plan, there aren’t anymore detours. Good news. http://ow.ly/3AIol

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What must we do?

It is a fairly reasonable question. We come to Jesus. From our religious culture and upbringing we ask “What must we do?”

We have been told our whole life, go to church, pray, fast, be religious. The focus is on doing. It is more than just a religious culture. It is the way of life in America. So, what does God require? Good question.

Jesus wants us to work at believing in Him. It is all about the relationship with him and not what we do. We must believe. That leads to His new plan. His mission will fill us when we know He cares for us.

Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God
requires?’ 
Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the
one he has sent.’
(John 6:26-29 NIV)
 
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How much is it worth to me?

June 5, 2013 1 comment

Am I ecstatic about what I have found in God’s new plan? Am I prepared / willing to sell everything I own to follow Jesus? What is so precious in my life that I won’t give it up for Jesus? Questions that Jesus asks that demand an answer.

A small thing to note in this story that Jesus tells us. The man who found the treasure was a trespasser. He didn’t belong there but he used the knowledge he had to get the property. Even though a trespasser, he became the owner. Why? He knew something the owner didn’t. The owner didn’t know what his property was worth. The trespasser did.

God’s world is a treasure. I will give up everything for it.

“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 13:44)

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“It’s urgent that you get this right.” ~~Jesus

May 31, 2013 1 comment

Jesus expects us to have a sense of urgency. His passion for doing God’s will right now is overwhelming. He knows what God’s “mission for this moment” is.

He demands that we follow God’s new plan. It is an urgency to do the right thing now which is God’s thing.

But it is not do just anything. God has something in mind. He will reveal it to us. Our job is to do it and not ignore it.

“It’s urgent that you get this right.” ~~Jesus  (John 5:25-27 The Message)

A clean slate

May 29, 2013 1 comment

We have ministers that are very faithful. Everyday they do their thing. Same message; same station. If you do something you will be “saved”. Same message, year in, year out. But that same old plan never makes a dent in the problem of missing the mark with God. But Jesus had a new plan in mind. With one act, we never would have to “do” anything again.

And so, one act and it was over. He then went back and sat down next to God just waiting for us to “get it”. He is just waiting for His and our enemy to cave in. He has done everything for us. I don’t need “to do” anything other than believe and love. I can take part in being complete in Him with nothing else to do. The Holy Spirit confirms that there is a new plan in effect. And it is not one put on paper and notarized. The Spirit is writing it on my heart. It is there on the lining to my emotional core.

The slate is clean. I don’t need “to do” anything to take part in the new plan. I just continue to believe, change my mind about God’s purpose in my life and don’t throw it all away. It is mine forever in Him!!

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What does God have in mind for us?

God is getting us into the shape for the goal He has for us. We need to desire reaching that goal like nothing else. We need the discipline to stay the course. We know He has a goal for us. We know it is a grand and glorious plan.

That goal is simple but not easy.

May I be ready.

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What is the signet that we have?

God has given us the Holy Spirit. That is a sign of His authority in our life. He has left us with power, His power. That is an amazing thing. What a great God we have.

And, that is not all. The Holy Spirit in our life is only the beginning. God has so many wonderful things in store for us. And we will receive them all. Not a one will be withheld from us. The Holy Spirit in our life is the sign of all the glory to come.

“This signet (the Holy Spirit) from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.” ~Apostle Paul (Ephesians 1:14 The Message)

Can you rest?

God has a goal for us. In His new plan, we can rest from our work and do His. We need to be careful though. We have received the same promises as those who have gone before us. The promise is not new. We have a choice to make. Jesus challenges us to choose well.

If we have supernatural courage, we can enter His rest. We have to believe. We have to keep our eyes on Him. He led the way.

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Is it plain and simple?

It is so easy to get carried away. Paul had tried polished speeches before. Not much happened (this is detailed in the book of Acts). Am I depending on my cleverness or God’s power?

In His new plan, the order of the day is to depend on him. Plain and simple makes way for Him to do His work in people.

May we keep it plain. May we keep it simple. God will make it effective. That is His job.

You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2

Would we have killed Jesus?

April 16, 2013 2 comments

We have lots of experts. And that is sometimes a good thing. The problem is that most experts don’t have a clue about what God’s eternal plan is. And we shouldn’t expect them to but we do exalt their opinion beyond what we should. These experts existed when Jesus was here on earth. The didn’t have a clue then either.

It would have been impossible to kill Jesus if we understood what God intends. But we have all missed God’s goal for our life. We would have killed him as well. No point blaming others. Jesus was the master of the life that God designed for us. And he was killed on a cross so that we could live that same way He did. Imagine that.

“If they had a clue about God’s eternal plan, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross.” ~~ Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:9 The Message)

“Hold out your hand.” ~~Jesus

One day Jesus went church where he found a man with a crippled hand. The religious leaders had their eyes on Jesus to see if he would heal him, hoping to catch him go against the tradition of the church. As with most churches, they didn’t pray for people to be healed. Not in public and not in the church.
Jesus said to the man with the crippled hand, “Stand here where we can see you.” You can see it coming now. Jesus is going to openly challenge them all. He is going to do it publicly and clearly.

Jesus wants to know something. So He asked everyone in the church: “What kind of action suits Sunday the best? Doing good or doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?”

What kind of answer did He get? No one said a word. Complete and utter silence. They didn’t have the capacity to advocate for doing good. They are uncomfortable to their core. We don’t have healing services in church. Not in this church and not during the Sunday service. Can’t we get the band to start playing again? Where is the praise leader? Isn’t the minister going to do something?

I don’t think I want to see this look. When Jesus looked them in the eye, one after another, angry, furious at their hard-nosed religion. He said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” I’m not sure he said this in the most loving way. A point was about to be made.

Here it is. Jesus was angry. He was furious. What happened to our kind and loving “Mr. Rogers like” savior?

So the man held out his hand—it was as good as new! The minister and deacons understood what was going on. They got out as fast as they could, sputtering about how they would join forces with the President’s followers and ruin him. That was their plan on how to deal with Jesus. They could have accepted him but being the religious hypocrites that they were, they opposed and plotted against him. But the congregation didn’t do anything either.

And how does our religious leadership deal with Jesus today? Build a bigger building? Add more instruments to the band? Expand the children’s program?

“Hold out your hand.” ~~Jesus (Mark 3:5)

Have we been rescued?

Jesus has rescued us from this evil world we’re in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our missing God’s goal for our life. That is good news.

That is the kind of news that a loving Father can deliver. And that is the kind of Father we have. We have been rescued. Jesus did it for us.

We all need to have that experience. We need it every day.

“God’s plan is that we all experience that rescue.” ~~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:4 The Message)

What is my job?

My job is to be sympathetic. No doubt about it. That leads to me being a blessing. It is way to easy to judge. That doesn’t help people at all. That is the way of the world.

God’s new plan is different. Be a blessing to others. That is my job to reach God’s goal.

May I be sympathetic.

Summing up: …be sympathetic …. bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-12

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What is love?

We like think we know a lot about love. It doesn’t start with us however. It starts with God. He initiated everything. And He proved His love for us. He gave us a great gift. How stunning. Our identity is based on His love.

It is all done. It is a new plan. His love led to sacrifice that brought us into right standing. How amazing is that?

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

 

Gideon is God’s man

April 5, 2013 3 comments

You have to love Gideon. Israel is in bad shape. They have abandoned God. Not just a little but completely. Absolutely, positively left Him for good. They Midianites have devastated them and humiliate them for sport. It is embarrassing.

Gideon carries out his daily work in a pit so the Midianites won’t harass him. It works but God knows where he is. So … God shows up on the scene one day. Just like God when you think He can’t find you. The angel of God appeared to him and said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!” Really? Seriously? He is hiding in a pit. You just have a sense this is going to be rich.

So how would you respond to this? How would I? Probably like Gideon. Skeptical is an understatement. Gideon replied, “With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t God deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, God has nothing to do with us—he has turned us over to Midian.”

That is a pretty honest and direct way to reply to God. Interesting in that it didn’t bother God. Not in the least. God had a plan. It involved Gideon. God was going to win. So God faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?”

At this point you would think Gideon would get it. I mean really. What is it going to take. This is God. But no. Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.” Ha. The runt of the litter. That is good. But God doesn’t laugh. And … he said it to God. Now I’m thinking lightening is about to strike. But it didn’t bother God. Not in the least. God had a plan. It involved Gideon. God was going to win. He is so patient.

God said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.”

And that was that.

Is your work futile?

Jesus has some work for us to do that is not futile. His work is always good. We have a YES in him that allows us to say no to the things that can crowd the agenda some days. When we have His yes, we won’t let anything move us off of the path. This is good news for sure. This plan is far superior to the old way of doing things.

Jesus challenges us to stand firm when we know what He wants us to do. There is the temptation to give in to other priorities. Our mission to do no less than what God has called us to do. We can not waiver.

May we give ourselves fully to His plan.

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

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“Don’t loiter and make small talk with everyone you meet along the way.” ~~Jesus

Jesus sends us on a mission. He has things He wants us to do for Him. We need to understand His urgency. In His new plan for us, He has places He wants us to go for Him. Taking time to stop along the way gets us out of synch with His mission for us.

Jesus demands we get moving and get to where He wants us to go. Nothing else is acceptable to Him.

 “Don’t loiter and make small talk with everyone you meet along the way.” ~~Jesus (Luke 10:4 The Message)

7,074,686,150

Oh, boy, there are SO MANY people on this Earth! Billions and Billions and Billions. This site said there were 7,074,686,150 when I looked. Sometimes it feels like half of them are in front of me slowing me down from where I am trying to go. One big traffic jam.

But God is absolutely clear. He knows each and every one of us. He loves each one of us. He wants a real live relationship with each one of us, whether we are number 99 or 99,999,999 or 7,074,686,150. God doesn’t want anyone left behind or left out. Not if you are one of the “good guys”. Not even if you are one of the “bad guys”. He has an individual plan for each of us. How does He possibly do that? Why does he do that? Because He is God and He is Great and He is Good!

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. Mathew 18: 12-14.

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Why worry?

March 23, 2013 1 comment

God lights my path. God saves me. Simple but straightforward truths about our amazing heavenly Father. I am participating in His new plan for my life. I am hearing great news today. God is smiling. He shows me his grin.

Why should I be worried? Why should I be afraid? If nothing is impossible with God, why would anything seem like a big deal?

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

 May I rely on the stronghold of my life. May I have no fear.

Categories: Personal Tags: , , ,

What is Jesus saying to me that requires supernatural courage?

There were two who walked on water. Jesus wasn’t the only one. Peter had supernatural courage. Jesus said one word. It was “come”. Peter did.

What is Jesus saying to me that requires supernatural courage? It could be just one word.

May I move at at His word. May I have supernatural courage. May I live in the new plan.

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Do you have the simplicity of a child?

Remember the song: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”? The simple song of a child. Oh how we used to love to sing that song over and over again. The simplicity of a child.

Jesus beckons us to start over like children. Can I have that level of faith and simplicity? Can I humble myself so I can get a good look at the Kingdom and His new plan?

May I become simple and elemental again. May I have the faith of a child.

At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. Matthew 18:1-5

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Not in charge

There is a strange thing about wanting to control what is going on with others. We become very critical. Suspiciously so. That is not the way in God’s new plan for our life. We are not in charge of how others live out their faith in our Master Jesus.

We are to be partners with our brothers and sisters. We are to work along side them. We should be joyful, expecting the next good thing in their life. They stand on their own faith in Jesus. Certainly not by mine or yours. And we can’t control them.

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Is it all about the messenger?

March 16, 2013 1 comment

There is the messenger. He is delivering the message. Who are the followers following? The messenger or Jesus. Is it clear from the message?

The message is what HE has done. The message is HIS good news. The message is HIS new plan. The real messenger collects followers for Jesus. He doesn’t send out messengers who have fancy rhetoric of their own. The message of Jesus on the cross can’t be trivialized into mere words. The power of His death on the cross and His resurrection is demonstrated beyond mere words. It is demonstrated with real power that heals and changes lives.

That is the new plan. The goal will be achieved. No doubt about it.

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No retaliation

March 12, 2013 3 comments

There is something in our nature about wanting to get even. That is a part of our culture.

It has no place in God’s new plan. He isn’t seeking revenge. He is not calling down fire. He is loving. He is sympathetic. He is in a good mood.

There is no exception to this. He wants us to reflect His love. He doesn’t retaliate. Neither should we. Let’s live in the new plan. It is good news.

Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-12

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Do I care for others more than myself?

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment

God is love. He teaches us the way, first and foremost, to His love. Love never fails

He loved us so much, He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us to get us back in right standing and in the new plan. Clearly this is how we are to love. We should not take our own interests in mind but care more others than our self. That is the way of God’s love.

May we love like Him!!!

“Love cares more for others than for self.” 1 Corinthians 13 (The Message Bible)

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“What a huge harvest! And how few the harvest hands. So on your knees; ask the God of the Harvest to send harvest hands.” ~~Jesus

February 23, 2013 1 comment

Jesus demands that we not worry about anything but having enough people to bring everyone we meet to Him. He came for the world. That is a big mission. He will settle for nothing less in terms of His plan to bring us into His world and His goal for our life.

He wants us to focus on the right things. Do we see the opportunity for Him?

May I focus on building up others to help with the harvest.

 “What a huge harvest! And how few the harvest hands. So on your knees; ask the God of the Harvest to send harvest hands.” ~~Jesus (Luke 10:1-2 The Message)

Accountable and it is good!!!

February 18, 2013 Leave a comment

God is good and He is in a great mood. This is nothing to take lightly. We know it and are accountable. There is a judgement. We don’t like to think about it but it is true. We can’t turn our back on what we know. And we know His goodness. We can’t insult Him, His Son and His Spirit by pretending we aren’t His children. We are and must live like it.

We know He is love. We must continue on in the new plan and His good news. No turning back. No half hearted efforts.

May I be accountable for showing God’ goodness to everyone I know.

So be it LORD!!!

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“Other seed fell in rich earth and produced a bumper crop.” ~~Jesus

February 15, 2013 2 comments

Jesus loved to tell stories. This one was about the farmer who planted seeds for his crop. But not all seeds produced the same crop. Some did however.

The seed that was planted in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest. Now they produced a bumper crop.

May we seize the word. May we hold onto it now matter what. May we stick with it until there is a harvest.

“Other seed fell in rich earth and produced a bumper crop.” ~~Jesus (Luke 8:8 The Message)

Do you know the meaning of the words?

February 14, 2013 Leave a comment

We were in big trouble. We didn’t feel God’s love. We didn’t know how to love. We missed God’s goal for our life. Over and over again, minute by minute.

Jesus rescued us from all of that. Having never missed God’s goal, he became the sacrifice we needed. We now know love and can love. We are focused on God’s plan.

“We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we’re in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins.” ~~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:4 The Message)  

Will I end better than I started?

February 11, 2013 Leave a comment

There are a lot of stories in the Old Testament about amazing men of God. One common theme in many of them is how at the end, they abandon God’s plan. Not Abraham. Not the mighty man of faith. Even in his advancing years, he followed God and God blessed him.

May it be so with me.

Abraham was now an old man. God had blessed Abraham in every way. Genesis 24:1

“Travel light. Comb and toothbrush and no extra luggage.” ~~Jesus

February 5, 2013 1 comment

Jesus challenges us and gives some good advice. Focus on today’s needs and not long term plans. It runs counter to many things we hear. The whole culture of planning and success theology are at odds with what Jesus demands. Luggage

God is in control. Our plans don’t matter much at all. Not to God anyway.

Jesus demands we follow a different path. Travel light!!

 “Travel light. Comb and toothbrush and no extra luggage.” ~~Jesus (Luke 10:4 The Message)

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A great tragedy

January 30, 2013 1 comment

God wants us to grow in our relationship with Him. Everyday He challenges us.

Will we respond today?

“To live two days in succession on the same spiritual plane is a tragedy” – Smith Wigglesworth

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Remember the early days?

January 24, 2013 Leave a comment

We should remember the early days when we first came to Jesus and saw the truth. Those were not always easy days. Friends didn’t understand. Family members laughed at us. They “knew” us too well. But, we knew who we knew.

He was with us through it all. We knew our real treasure. In one way, it seemed like nothing bothered us at all. We were willing to endure anything for Jesus. We were sure of Him.

So, will we throw it all away now? No, we need to stick it out no matter what.

We need to stay with the new plan. It is so much better than how we used to justify our self. The new plan is a sure thing. He has promised to complete everything and so we need to go for the prize. It isn’t going to take as long as we think. He will be back anytime now. We need to thrive on loyal trust. We can’t cut and run away.

We aren’t quitters. We aren’t losers. We are going to hang in and see it to the very end. Trusting Him who is always faithful.

He is the truth.

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I have a dream speech

January 21, 2013 1 comment

This says it all.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

Read more…

Does God have our attention?

January 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Jesus understood what He was here to do. He reminded us of the new plan as He lived it out. It is about loving God with all we’ve got. Moses got it directly from God. Jesus got it too.

To love God with our whole heart is our mission. It is written on our heart and in the very fabric of our soul. It is all we want to talk about.

Attention, Israel! God, our God! God the one and only! Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!

Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

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What is the inside story?

January 19, 2013 Leave a comment

We all want the “inside scoop”. We know we do. And so here is good news. We have it. We really do. Paul got it directly from God. The plan is that God wants everyone to experience the good life through Jesus. No one is to be excluded. Inside Story

We get the inside story directly from God as well. We share in the same good news. We aren’t left out of His new plan for us at all.

This is why I, Paul, am in jail for Christ, having taken up the cause of you outsiders, so-called. I take it that you’re familiar with the part I was given in God’s plan for including everybody. I got the inside story on this from God himself, as I just wrote you in brief. Ephesians 3:1-3

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Do I need a new attitude?

January 18, 2013 Leave a comment

How is my attitude these days? Is it focused on the new agreement we have with our Father? Am I moving forward with thoughts of His plan? Am I bogged down my what I want and deceiving myself about the right direction to take? Am I thinking about what God is doing or what He hasn’t done?

May I focus my thinking on God’s wonderful plan. May I focus on what God is doing today.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds. Ephesians 4:23 TNIV Bible

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What can go wrong?

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

What can go wrong? Our fear is that anything and everything will go wrong. That is an enemy whispering in our ear. It isn’t true.

We serve a loving savior, Jesus. The plans He has for us are good ones. May we focus on what He is doing and not listen to the enemy whispering in our ear.

“If you continue to love Jesus, nothing much can go wrong with you, and I hope you will always do so.” ~~C.S.Lewis

Worrying always results in missing God’s goal

January 13, 2013 2 comments

Worrying always results in missing God’s goal. Fear paralyzes and keeps us from acting on what God has planned for us right now.

May I trust Him.

Completely.

Always.

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A complete benefits package

Who doesn’t want to work for someone where there is an absolutely complete benefits package? We all do of course.

Our Father is so amazing. He has gifts in mind for us that we don’t know anything about. The benefits of His new plan are astounding. They are ours when we follow our Master Jesus. He is in control!!

They are all ours. Not a few but all of them. We get the full benefits package as citizens of his government.

How amazing is that?

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What was the end in Jesus mind?

January 8, 2013 2 comments

Jesus knew why He was here. He knew how it would end. He knew He would go through the worst time possible.

What was the end in His mind? Not the sorrow or the crucifixion. It was the glorification. He knew what He had to go through to get to the glorification and for the sheer joy of it, he endured.

And so, we benefit from God’s new plan. We have gone through it with Him.

Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Those who love their life will lose it, while those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. ‘Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. John 12:23-27

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Should we do it?

Because of what Jesus did, we can walk right up to God. We don’t even have to hesitate. We can just go right in to His presence and the place where His absolute perfection radiates completely. Jesus made the way clear. It was by His blood and His sacrifice. Nothing I could do to make it happen. This is His new plan for us. He has a whole new strategy for how we can be with Him and His awesome love.

So … let’s do it. Let us believe and be confident that we are in fact presentable. We don’t have to be ashamed at all. We are clean inside and out. Let’s get a firm grip on the promises that keep us moving in to His way. Has He ever not kept His word?

In fact, let’s get creative in how we can encourage love and helping each other out. Let’s be really inventive coming up with entirely new ways to show it. The Big Day is coming. Let’s get ready for it.

May we spur each other on. May we help each other out every time we get a chance.

New Year’s resolutions. Trusting in ourselves or God?

January 2, 2013 3 comments

David Platt cautions us about making new year’s resolutions and striving to keep them by trusting in ourselves rather than God.

Jesus challenges us to trust in God and God alone. This is not about making ourselves better. This about bring honor to God. That is all that counts.

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“Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men instead of perch and bass.” ~~Jesus

December 27, 2012 1 comment

Jesus challenges us to think about our jobs differently. To fishermen, he challenged them to not think of their jobs as catching fish. Their job is to catch men for God. A completely different way of seeing our work. It is seeing it God’s way.Fishermen - Net

How does God see our job? Do we see it the same way?

“Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men instead of perch and bass.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 4:18-20 The Message)

Will I see Jesus today?

December 25, 2012 Leave a comment

When God makes a promise, He is true to His word. His Spirit gives power to the word and it comes to pass. It brings peace into our life. Simeon could have done something else about the time Jesus parent’s brought Jesus to the temple. There were lots of choices for him I bet. In fact, he probably had other plans. But the Spirit was on him and led him.

May I listen to God and not worry about my plans so much.

In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the  prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:

God, you can now release your servant;
release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
and of glory for your people Israel.
Luke 2:25-32

As we celebrate, are we terrified today?

December 25, 2012 1 comment

The sheepherders were minding their own business. Just doing what they do after a long day of work. They were settling in for the evening. But God had different plans for them. He was about to show up and it was sudden. That is the way God is some days. We’re settling in for the evening and BAM, he arrives on the scene. Are we terrified like the sheepherders?

Well, they got some good news and they obeyed God. The angels told them about our dear Jesus and that the Savior had arrived. He was born.Manger

Have we seen God’s glory? Have we heard the good news from the Angels? Are we ready to meet this Savior?

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep.

Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”  (Luke 2:8-12 The Message)

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Am I drifting away?

December 22, 2012 Leave a comment

New Plan - 1There are important things to get a grip on. The most important is the message of the new plan.

Why? So we don’t drift off. It is easy to drift. Staying on message isn’t easy for sure. The old plan was delivered in so many ways. By angels. By prophets. By Kings. The list goes on. When that message was delivered, nobody got away with a single thing.

The new plan of good news was delivered by Jesus, the Son of God, himself. It is a message of amazing salvation. The message has been passed down to us faithfully by so many starting with those who heard it directly from Him. We know it is the true message of good news because it is validated with gifts through the Holy Spirit. All sorts of signs and wonders come with it.

So … may we never drift off. May we stay anchored in the good news of the new plan.

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“I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!” ~~Jesus

December 21, 2012 2 comments

Light Stand

Jesus challenges us to be public, to tell all about His Father’s love, to be radical in our devotion to Him. He will accept nothing less.

He makes us shine. We don’t do it. He puts us out front to bring God the glory. Our job, in His new plan, is to be obedient.

“I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:14-16The Message)

“When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself.” ~~Jesus

December 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus calls us to a higher standard than the way of this world. He is in charge of the new plan. This is a plan of humility.

The call from Jesus is to just help and love people. Don’t worry if anyone knows. Our Father knows. That is enough. Pleasing our Father is the only thing this is all about.

“When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 6:2-4 The Message)

Humility - 01

“God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” ~~Jesus

December 16, 2012 2 comments

We often worry about what might happen. Conventional wisdom says “plan for the worst”. And so we do.Hard Times - 01

Jesus is direct and challenges us to change our minds (repent) about thinking that way. His way is to not worry and trust that God, our loving Father, will helps us the time we need it. Jesus challenges us to give our entire attention to God right now. God is our God now.

“God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 6:34 The Message)

“Beat it, Satan!” ~~Jesus

December 15, 2012 6 comments

Jesus understands Satan’s approach. Three times Satan tempts him.  Authority

Jesus quotes God’s word and then uses his authority to send Satan on his way. Jesus has given us the same authority. We are in the new plan with God. Jesus brokered the agreement.

May I use the authority of Jesus.

“Beat it, Satan!” ~~Jesus (Matthew 4:10 The Message)

“You look wonderful! You’re well!” ~~Jesus

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

He had been crippled for 38 years. Now that is a long time. Jesus healed him. Not a problem. He is perfectly aligned with His Father. He has a new plan. It is a new agreement. And when Jesus heals us, we look wonderful. Healing

And, it is Good News all the time. God has a goal for us. We should listen to Jesus and not miss it. Who knows what could happen.

“You look wonderful! You’re well! Don’t return to a life of missing God’s goal or something worse might happen.” ~~Jesus (John 5:14 The Message)

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“Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ ” ~~Jesus

November 29, 2012 2 comments

Jesus lives in a clear world. He is light. There is no darkness in Him at all.

His Father is all about clarity. He demands the same from us. His radical world and plan for us is that we be clear as well. No ambiguity. No waffling. No wavering.

In Jesus’ world, he challenges us to no “ifs, ands or buts”. It is all yes and no. Jesus challenges us to not be manipulative, trying to get our own way with our answers.

“And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. (Matthew 5:33-37The Message)

Worrying is a nasty habit ..you’ll notice if it ain’t one thing it’s another.

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Why worry? God has a plan. God is working his plan. We can trust in Him. He is in a very good mood. He will do what He says. He never abandons us at all. He is always looking out for our best interest. That is just the way He rolls.

Worry is a nasty habit. Worry has a some very evil brothers and sisters. Worry will derail us.

With worry, if it is not one thing it is another.  Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere.

Why worry? God has a plan.

Worrying is a nasty habit ..you’ll notice if it ain’t one thing it’s another.

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What fruit am I bearing?

November 11, 2012 4 comments

What happens when I live God’s way? (I am pausing here to think on this!!!)

He brings gifts into my life. If I plant fruit in an orchard, I will reap some really tasty treats. That is the way it is. I live God’s way and He gives me fruit.

What kind of fruit is it? Things like affection for others. True caring for them. A passion for life. Serenity and peace. I have a willingness to stick with things. No starting and not finishing. Compassion for God and my friends. I get His gift of a basic holiness that permeates everything I do and the people I know. I find myself involved in extremely loyal commitments. I don’t have to force my way through anything. I am able to marshal my energy.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26

Is this an election?

November 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Before Jesus, the High Priest had to offer up sacrifices to blot out the continuous nature of our missing God’s goal. He also had to do this for himself since he missed God’s goal as well.

Jesus, God’s son, who never missed God’s goal for his life, offered up himself. God set him aside for this role. He is now our High Priest. We share in his new plan. It was the perfect plan, perfectly executed. Only Jesus could do it for us.

Jesus wasn’t elected to this position. God, His Father, appointed Him. No popular vote here. No democracy in God’s world. His decision and it was perfect. Thanks be to our magnificent Leader!!

No one elects himself to this honored position of High Priest. He’s called to it by God, as Aaron was. Neither did the Messiah presume to set himself up as high priest, but was set apart by the One who said to him, “You’re my Son; today I celebrate you!” In another place God declares, “You’re a priest forever in the royal order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 5:40-16

Is God serious?

November 1, 2012 1 comment

Is God serious? God is very serious about His business. We should take Him seriously. He doesn’t mess around. He put the earth in place. He created it all. From nothing His word was obeyed. Everything that exists is here because He wants it that way. He has a new plan. It is bought and paid for. No need to hold back.

It is still that way. In faith, His gifts abound. His Word is still obeyed. His word doesn’t come back to Him with no results. When He says something, it happens. You can count on it.

God is very serious about His business. We should be too.

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Is God making everything new?

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

He walks over to me. He reaches out His hand. Slowly He wipes away my tears. He dries them off very carefully. No more mourning. No more crying. No more pain. That is all in the past. The new plan has kicked in. He is making everything according to the new plan. His goal and His strategy is now the order of the day. Not there yet but closer every day. He is in control. He is in power and will bring every aspect of the plan to a close. He executes every detail. No worry or concern.

I can count on it. It is a fact. I can write it down for He is faithful to bring it all to pass. The new plan is done.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me: ‘It is done. Revelation 21:4-6

Will God restore me?

October 25, 2012 4 comments

I need to keep a cool head. I should be on the alert at all times. I must keep my guard up. No napping when it comes to my enemy. God has a great plan for me. My challenges won’t last forever. It is true with all my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

I must get a grip. A firm grip. Faith in Jesus will see me through. He has put me on my feet. He gets the last word. Yes, it is His way and His plan.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your fellow believers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in the Messiah, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:8-10

Do you get the hint?

October 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Do you like hints? They can be a little frustrating but they can also be fun. They can also be significant beyond what I think some days. So, in God’s old way of doing things (Old Testament / Old Covenant / the Law), He gave us hints in the old plan about the good things to come in His new way of doing things. He had a new plan. A new way of relating to us. And, He not only planned for it, He did it.

So we had the hints. If you know where you are going and it is a big difference from where things are today, sometimes you hint about what the future will be like. God did that for sure. It is easy to get locked in the past. God wants me to live in the new way. It is the good news plan.

And then we had Jesus being born to change things permanently. And He did. Plan executed.

The old plan was only a hint of the good things in the new plan. Thank goodness things got simplified in the new plan. No more countless rules and regulations to remember. Just love God and love everyone else I come in contact with.

Not of his own authority

October 12, 2012 2 comments

Wow, after all that time. Imagine what he has seen Jesus do firsthand. How the words of our Lord must have stung. But it wasn’t cruelty. It was love. He was answering Philip’s question. And He wanted to be clear. And He was. What was happening wasn’t the ordinary. It was a new plan unfolding. It was good news even if it didn’t feel like it some days.

Jesus is challenging me to change my mind about who is in control. His authority is now established. It is real. I must keep leaning into His power. I must keep the relationship in tact. I must know Him. Now.

Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. John 14:9-11

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Am I free?

The old plan is finished. The rules, the regulations, the spirit of religion. It is done with. I was called to be free. There is a new plan. I only need to know one thing. I must love.

That is it. That is the plan. That is the agreement my Father has with me. That is the agreement I have with those I know. That is the real deal.

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-15 NIV

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What does God want me to do?

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus has called me. He wants me. It is His desire that I do what I do right now. He is sending me forward according to His new plan. I have been picked up and cleaned up. While I missed the mark before, that is not the case now since He is so good to show me the way. I was a mess before but not now.

I have been set apart by Him for a life filled with God. He is my Master and He is yours as well. He wants to have this great relationship, founded on love. That is all he wants.

It does come back to “What would Jesus do?” kind of question.

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What is Jesus focused on?

September 27, 2012 6 comments

Jesus is perfectly aligned with God. He knows He can’t doing anything without God. Jesus is determined to follow God’s plan all the way and everyday for eternity. And that is a very long time.

How does he operate? He looks to see what God is doing and He does it. He has no desire to do his own thing. He doesn’t know what that means. He only knows that he must do what he sees his Father doing. That is all. That is it. That is the main thing about the main thing.

He challenges us to do the same. We must take on God’s own nature. We must do what we see God doing. That is all. That is it.

“I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing.” ~~Jesus (John 5:19 The Message)

What if I don’t feel like it?

September 25, 2012 1 comment

We live in a world where if we don’t feel like doing something we don’t. That is all there is to it.

That isn’t God’s world. Corrie Ten Boom knew the power of prayer and power of commitment. God doesn’t have problems, only plans!!

“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” ~~Corrie Ten Boom

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How sad is this?

September 21, 2012 1 comment

Whoo Hoo!! This is very good news. Since I have turned to Jesus, the Master, I am seeing Him face to face. Nothing is hidden. I see His absolute perfection. By His mighty hand, He made me to be a new creation in Jesus. I am free from the old agreement that He had so long ago. I am living in the new plan He has with us.

Now there is also some sad news here. It is possible to read the Bible and not see Jesus. The issue is the heart. We protect it thinking reading the Bible is all we need to do. God wants us to have a relationship of love with Him. Our mission is to help the religious see Jesus in what they read and hear at church.

May I see Him and His perfect plan today. May I help others see Jesus.

Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 2 Corinthians 3:15-16

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Are you an expert but clueless?

September 20, 2012 3 comments

We have so many experts today. Think of any subject and you can find thousands of them. The internet brings us to them any time we want to know “the answer” to any question. There are some things they are clueless about however.

God has a plan. He has had it from the beginning and it will never go away. His plan is Jesus.

God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses, opinions or internet searches. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school. We learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.

“The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is.” ~~ Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:8 The Message)

“Don’t act so surprised at all this.” ~~Jesus

September 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus tells us everything we need to know. We know God’s plan. We know what He wants. If nothing else, find someone to love right now. He makes everything clear. There are no surprises with Him.

God gave the plan to men of God way in advance. He made it know. There shouldn’t be any surprises at all.

“Don’t act so surprised at all this.” ~~Jesus (John 5:28-29 The Message)

I will NEVER forget

September 11, 2012 3 comments

I will never forget that day. Originally I was scheduled to fly out on a flight out of Boston that morning. I had changed my plans to fly from Syracuse, NY. We had a large meeting going on in our office. There was a TV in the meeting room. We saw the second plane hit. We saw both towers go down. We saw the devastation to the Pentagon. We heard of the flight going down in Pennsylvania. All in real time as it happened. Each event a blow to our gut. Who could do this to us? Why were we being attacked and Americans dying? What was happening and what would be next?

It was horrible. We couldn’t make it stop. This was real and not a nightmare.

We sent everyone home to be with their families. I just wanted to be close to my son and he came home from school early. I hugged him. We sat and watched TV for days until I just couldn’t stand it any more.

I will NEVER forget that day. It was September 11, 2001.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.” ~~Jesus

September 10, 2012 3 comments

Jesus challenges us to focus on what God is doing today, right now. That is all that Jesus did. He focused like no one else on that one thing. He gave it His entire attention. Nothing else matters. This is not easy at all. It is not the way of this world. It is the way of God’s world (Kingdom).

In our culture, we are big on planning. It is an obsession. It is big business. We all want to be strategic. We miss today’s opportunities as a result.

Jesus knew that if we did today what God wants us to, tomorrow will take care of itself.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 6:34 The Message)

What am I proud of?

September 8, 2012 1 comment

There are some things to be embarrassed by. There are some  things to be proud of. We have an extraordinary message. It is a powerful message. It is a message to be proud of.

God has plans to rescue everyone (not just religious people).  All we have to do is trust Him. Anyone can do it. The religious don’t have a lock on this deal. It may seem like it but we have good news. It isn’t limited to the religious. It isn’t going to church or leading bible studies that get’s us right with God. It is faith pure and simple. When we believe that Jesus is the Messiah that came to rescue us from a life of missing God’s goal for our life, we have right standing before God.

AND that is a very good deal for sure.

It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with the religious and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.” ~~Apostle Paul (Romans 1:16-17)

“He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.” ~~Jesus

September 7, 2012 3 comments

God’s generosity extends to everyone. He includes the evil, the bad and the nasty in His plans to redeem and restore. He is not like us, good to those who are good to us but vindictive to those who hurt us.

He gives his best to everyone. Think about that. In our world, we dole things out in a hierarchical way. Average things to most people and the best for a few. Not our Father. He gives his best to everyone. No distinctions.

“He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5 The Message)

“And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!” ~~Jesus

September 2, 2012 1 comment

Jesus challenges us to live life urgently. He doesn’t have a “plan B” for us. We are His plan. We must deliver the message of how it works in God’s world (Kingdom). We must be “all in” for Jesus. He will accept nothing less. He is clear about that.

It is way too easy to let the concerns of this world outweigh the urgency of His world. Jesus knows that is a danger.

So let’s put this in context. A man wanted to be a disciple. Jesus said to him, “Come follow me.” The man said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.” Seems reasonable to all of us I’m sure. Not to Jesus. He refused and challenged him to decide what was more important, a funeral or following Jesus.

Jesus challenges us to go all in for Him.

“And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!” ~~Jesus (Luke 9:60 The Message) 

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Are we pretending to be a know it all?

We all know some “know it alls”. Perhaps some times we also pretend to know things we really don’t.

There are some things we should know and be able to speak about. We should know life, how we get it and keep it, and how serving the Messiah makes it possible. There should be no pretending about that. We serve a “real” God. We have “real” life. Let’s talk about that. That is what we know. We are literate on that.

“They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life.” ~~Apostle Paul (Romans 1:21The Message)

What is Jesus’ favorite thing to talk about?

August 28, 2012 2 comments

What is Jesus’ favorite thing to talk about? It is the way things work in God’s world (Kingdom).

This is core of the message of Good News. God’s world is real. God is in control. God wants us to be loyal and do what He wants. He has a plan to be implemented.

So, after His resurrection, he met with the disciples face to face. The had no doubt about the resurrection. They saw him and talked with him for 40 days.

He lives!!

In face-to-face meetings, Jesus talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:5 The Message)

Has the problem of missing God’s goal for our life been solved for good?

Has the problem of missing God’s goal for our life been solved for good? Yes, it has. Our Messiah and Master, Jesus, has done it for us and the whole world.

God has a plan for us. He has a goal in mind. We miss it. That is so frustrating. We have good news though, Jesus has solved that problem for us. His sacrifice of death paid the penalty for us all. We all have a debt to pay to God for our rebellion. Jesus paid it for us.

“When he served as a sacrifice for our missing God’s goal (sins), he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s. ” ~~Apostle John  (1 John 2:1 The Message) 

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Is there a whole lot of shaking going on?

There is a whole lot of shaking going on. It isn’t about the economy or politics. The shaking is God’s World (Kingdom) being established. The shaking is God establishing His new agreement with a people after His own heart. The shaking is His light driving out all darkness. The shaking is His love binding up the broken hearts and healing our bodies. The shaking is His Spirit moving in power.

In God’s Kingdom, there are no political parties. In God’s Kingdom, there is no need for bailout plans, He has all the resources He needs. In God’s Kingdom, there is no need for medical insurance because He is our insurance. In God’s Kingdom, all His benefits are available for us every day.

Clearly, His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. He knows what He is doing. He is shaking things up and that is a VERY good thing.

 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 NIV

 

Do I have a critical spirit?

Oh my goodness. We live in a world where a critical spirit is par for the course 24/7. It is in our culture and it is non stop.

Jesus wouldn’t put up with this. His challenge to us is clear. No picking on people, no jumping on their failures, no criticizing their faults. No judging of others unless we want to be judged by God. This is serious stuff. Jesus is not kidding.

I need to live my part in what our Father wants me to do. That has nothing to do with anyone else. It has everything to do with my relationship with God.

Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. Matthew 7:1 -5

Can I rest today?

We have the promise. It has not been fulfilled yet. We can receive it today even though in the past it has gone unfulfilled. We can obey. We can rest. Today is the day. Now is the time. God is faithful. If we let Him take over, we can rest. Our place of rest comes in our obedience to God and what He wants to have happen today. He has a plan.

May I listen and obey. That is my part.

God made that vow, even though he’d finished his part before the foundation of the world. Somewhere it’s written, “God rested the seventh day, having completed his work,” but in this other text he says, “They’ll never be able to sit down and rest.” So this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient. God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David’s psalm, centuries later than the original invitation: Today, please listen, don’t turn a deaf ear . . . Hebrews 4:3-7

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Am I a comfort?

Jesus died and rose again. We have reassurance that one day we will all have a huge family reunion. Those who have gone on before us and those who are still alive at His coming. He said it. We can reassure each other with these words. We are not like those who have no hope. We have complete confidence in Him.

I know the way of hope. Am I a comfort to others with what I say? Do I encourage their faith? Am I reassuring?

May I be a comfort to others today.

Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:18

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Chipper Jones: Baseball cards 1991

July 29, 2012 1 comment


Many manufacturers would start to get into the Chipper Jones baseball card business in 1991. For obvious reasons, the Classic cards were considered minor league in quality and collector attention. When the 1991 sets from the major manufacturers were released, collectors across the country began to stock up on Chipper Jones cards. If he lived up to his promise and proved to be the second coming of Cal Ripken, Jr., then collectors everywhere would be able to put their children through college by selling a handful of Chipper cards.

From a numbers standpoint, Chipper’s career will eclipse that of Ripken. His rookie cards, however, can often be bought for mere pennies. It isn’t Chipper’s fault of course that Topps and Upper Deck were caught up in the era of rampant over-production. Although many collectors love to blame the 1994 strike for the collapse of the baseball card market, that was simply the moment the bubble burst. Value requires scarcity, and Chipper Jones rookie cards are as plentiful as water and air.

Pictured here are two of the better Chipper rookie cards. The Topps card is the classic bat on the shoulder pose. 1991 design isn’t overly impressive, but at least it doesn’t get in the way of the photograph. The Upper Deck card is even better. The picture showing Jones manning shortstop is especially nice. More than anything, I like that it looks like something is inflating inside his cap. Less successful is the card from Score. Generally speaking, cards with the backgrounds removed are almost always worse, but that’s not the only problem with the card. The design is bland, bordering on amateurish. There’s something off about the look on Chipper’s face. It just isn’t a very good card.

Am I wandering around in a fog? Is that a bad thing?

Wisdom. We all want it I think. What is the path? How do we get there?

God is GOD. He has, from before the beginning of time, had a plan in mind. He is executing against it, day by day, year by year, century by century, millennium by millennium. We seek to understand it all but some days we just can’t. It is a mystery. We are wondering around in a fog to some extent.

What we do know is that He has a plan in mind. We trust Him that it will all unfold, just as He has planed it out. His purpose will be achieved and we will see His glory. So be it!!

I want to understand God and have His wisdom. I need to seek out what is His purpose to get there.

God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. (1 Corinthians 2:6 The Message)

Can I do a deep dive?

A lot of people are just flitting around the surface. I can be one of them. The Holy Spirit of God is not superficial. He is not content like we can be.Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

Imagine knowing the depths of God? No seriously, imagine that!!

How can I know that God’s plan is for me? Well, I can do a deep dive into God. When I am filled with His Spirit, He brings what God has planned.

The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. ~~Paul (1 Corinthians 2:10)

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“Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.” ~~Jesus

We live in a world where we think we can get the answer to anything automatically. Technology has changed how we see things. It is useful but dangerous. GOD’s World (Kingdom) doesn’t work that way. GOD demands a different way of seeing things.

You have met people who absolutely focused. Wow, what they can do. And, you have met people absolutely focused on God. They are so powerful because GOD is so powerful. Got to love it. They know that GOD is GOD. He is in complete control. Always has been. Always will be. The trust Him and Him alone.

May I be focused on Him. He is the only thing. His plan compels me to execute what He wants. His government (Kingdom) is supreme. Nothing else deserves my devotion. Nothing else. Jesus got it. May I rise to the challenge Jesus lays out in front of me. This is the main thing about the main thing.

I need to be single-hearted. That is it.

“Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.” ~~Jesus

Where is the sting of death?

July 6, 2012 3 comments
Česky: Kříže - symbol utrpení Ježíše Krista a ...

Česky: Kříže – symbol utrpení Ježíše Krista a jeho ukřižování (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Death has no power. It has been swallowed up whole by the triumphant resurrection of our Master Jesus. This is reality. Does death have the last word on things? Not hardly. No way. Jesus has seen to that. It is over.

Who should be afraid of death knowing what we know? No one. Certainly not me.

It was not following God’s plan that gave death it’s leverage. It doesn’t have that hold now. Jesus has given me, in one single victorious stroke of life, a life free from guilt. A life free from sin. A life free from death. The old life of trying to live up to all the rules is gone. How destructive was that? Way too much guilt for sure. But it is gone in His redeeming power of His death and the victory of His ressurection.

May I experience that gift every day. May I experience it today for sure!!!

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57

“Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible spiritually to God for other people?” ~~Oswald Chambers

July 5, 2012 3 comments

English: Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

Sometimes I have to be challenged. Jesus does it all the time. This quote from Oswald Chambers hit me right between the eyes. I am responsible to GOD for other people coming to His Son Jesus. There is no plan B. GOD is counting on me.

“Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible spiritually to God for other people?” ~~Oswald Chambers

How did GOD think of that?

July 3, 2012 2 comments

A guest blog from my good friend Debra McKnight.

I can see God’s mind-blowing handy work all around me. Here are just a few:

The Universe. It goes on forever. How does it do that?
Diversity of Life. From plants to animals. If you look at the diversity of just something like little unimportant beetles- there are over 500,000 different kinds of them. Amazing.
Gravity. Magnetism. Electricity. How did He come up with those?
Rain. Water drops on our heads from the clouds, nourishes the world and then evaporates back into the atmosphere again. God is the original Recycler.
Procreation. A woman. A man. A new life grows INSIDE the woman. That’s just bizarre when you think about it.
Love. Forgiveness. Resurrection. Salvation. Wow!

Our God is indeed God. And He is Good. And He is GREAT!

And while you’re here, let me ask YOU. What do you see that makes you wonder “How did He think of that?”

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