Monday, January 31, 2011


Just to be real with you real quick....I failed today. I let my pride and flesh get to me. I lost control...

I also allowed Satan's lies get to me as well. My worldly desires to have own a make more be able to have money left after the bills are paid.

God quickly reminded me that He is still in control. I need to set my hope in things above, not on earthly things. Invest in His Kingdom work instead of focusing only on materialistic things here.

Good news is that He picked me back up, wiped the dust off my behind and told me to try again.

Isn't He wonderful??


I just have to share a verse that I've read several times this week. I almost laugh every time I read it...and I've found myself talking to God about it a lot as well.

2 Peter 2:16
"But he was rebuked by his wrongdoing by a donkey-- a beast without speech-- who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness."

I encourage you to go and read the whole chapter, but I feel like this verse along speaks for itself.

GOD USED A DONKEY!!!! Hahahaha

And yet I make up excuses about how He can't use me....
On the flip side, I also make excuses about how I must talk to someone and try to convict them for their sins....playing God...

But my prayer this week has been "Father, if you can use a DONKEY, and speak your Truth through something that can't even talk, then I trust that you can use anything..."

So when you begin doubting God about ANYTHING, be reminded that he used a DONKEY! He spoke (verbally) through a flippin' donkey!

He is in control!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Balance Beam


Check out this video, please. It's a great perspective about how we often live such safe lives as Christians....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

God made the thumb

Continued from "Tortured for Christ"....

I met a Russian couple, both sculptors. When I spoke to them about God, then answered, "No, God does not exist. We are bezboshniki-- godless. But we will tell you something interesting that happened to us.
"Once we worked on a statue of Stalin. During the work, my wife asked me, 'How about the thumb? If we did not have an opposing thumb-- if our fingers were like our toes-- we could not hold a hammer, mallet, tool, book or piece of bread. Human life would be impossible without this little thumb. Now, who made the thumb? We both learned Marxism in school and know that heaven and earth exist by themselves. They are not created by God. So I have learned and so i believe. But if God did not create heaven and earth, if He created only the thumb, He would be praiseworthy for this little thing.
" 'We praise Edison and Bell and Stephenson who have invented the electric bulb, telephone, railway, and other things. But why should we not praise the One who has invented the thumb? If Edison had not had a thumb, he would have invented nothing. It is only right to worship God who made the thumb.' "
The husband became very angry as husbands very often do when their wives tell them wise things. "Don't speak stupidities! You have learned that there is not God. You do not know if the house is bugged. We can get into trouble. Get into your mind once and for all that there is no God. In heaven there is nobody!"
She replied, "This is an even greater wonder. If in heaven there is an Almighty God, in whom in stupidity our forefathers believed, it would then be only natural that we should have thumbs. An Almighty God can do everything, so He can make a thumb, too. But if in heaven there is nobody, I will worship with all my heart the 'Nobody' who has made the thumb."
So they became worshippers of the "Nobody"! Their faith in this "Nobody" increased with time, believing Him to be the creator not only of the thumb, but also of the stars, flowers, children, and everything beautiful in life. It was just as in Athens in earlier times, when Paul met worshippers of the "unknown God" (Acts 17:23).
This couple was unspeakably happy to hear from me that they had believed rightly, that in heaven there is really a "Nobody"-- God who is Spirit. He is a Spirit of love, wisdom, truth, and power, who so loved them that He sent His only begotten Son to sacrifice Himself for them on the cross.
They had been believers in God not knowing that they were so. I had the great privilege of taking them one step further-- to the experience of salvation and redemption.

Friday, January 21, 2011

This made me cry...

I randomly got a package this week, which included the book "Tortured For Christ" by Richard Wurmbrand. It's about a Romanian pastor who spend 14 years in Communist prisons for sharing the Gospel. I'll probably share several stories from the book, as it has already touched my life and brought tears to my eyes several times in just the first 3 chapters.
Here is one about the beauty of one first hearing about Christ.

Russians-- A people with such "thristy Souls
An Orthodox priest, a friend of mine, telephoned me and told me that a Russian officer had come to him to confess. My friend did not know Russian. However, knowing that I speak Russian, he had given him my address. The next day this man came to see me. He longed for God, but he had never seen a Bible. He had no religious education and never attended religious services (churches in Russia then were very scarce). He loved God without the slightest knowledge of Him.

I read to him the Sermon on the Mount and the parables of Jesus. After hearing them, he danced around the room in rapturous joy, proclaiming, "What a wonderful beauty! How could I live without knowing Christ!" It was the first time that I saw someone so joyful in Christ.

Then I made a mistake. I read to him the passion and crucifixion of Christ, without having prepared him for this. He had not expected it and, when he heard how Christ was beaten, how He was crucified and that in the end He died, he fell into an armchair and began to weep bitterly. He had believed in a Savior and now his Savior was dead!

I looked at him and was ashamed. I had called myself a Christian, a pastor, and a teacher of others, but I had never shared the sufferings of Christ as this Russian officer now shared them. Looking at him, it was like seeing Mary Magdalene weeping at the foot of the cross, faithfully weeping when Jesus was a corpse in the tomb.

Then I read to him the story of the resurrection and watched his expression change. He had not known that his Savior arose from the tomb. When he heard this wonderful news, he beat his knees and swore-- using very dirty, but very "holy" profanity. This was his crude manner of speech. Again, he rejoiced, shouting for joy, "He is alive! He is alive!" He danced around the room once more, overwhelmed with happiness!

I said to him, "Let us pray!" He did not know how to pray. He did not know our "holy" phrases. He fell on his knees together with me and his words of prayer were: "Oh God, what a fine chap you are! If I were You and You were me, I would never have forgiven You of Your sins. But You are really a very nice chap! I love you with all of my heart."

I think that all the angels in heaven stopped what they were doing to listen to this sublime prayer from a Russian officer. The man had been won for Christ!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The room

I found this story in a book I read several years ago.....can't remember the book for the life of me, maybe it was "I kissed Dating Goodbye" but I really can't remember. I came across it again tonight and wanted to share it with you guys.

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index-card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near to the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. The lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their contents. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed."

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I have read," " Lies I have told", "Comfort I have given," "Jokes I have laughed at." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Thinks I've Yelled at my brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Thinks I have done in Anger," "Thinks I have muttered under my breath at my parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes there were fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my twenty years to write each one of these thousands, possibly millions, of cards? But each card confirmed the truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I have Listened to," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed contents. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

Suddenly I felt an almost animal rage. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In an insane frenzy, I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took the file at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I have shared the Gospel with." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hand. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.

I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worse boxes. Whey did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file, and one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

"No!" I shouted, rushing to HIm. All I could find to say was "No, no!" as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and continued to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Nothing bad to say..

1 Peter 2: 11-12

11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans, that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Let me just break this down a bit....especially while God is speaking...

1. We (Christians) are "aliens" in this world. We don't belong. We are here for a short time- eternity is our home.

2. As "strangers" we are to act differently from this world...not blend in with it.

3. "Abstaining from sinful desires"--- those things that Paul refers to in Romans 7:15
"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."
The things we KNOW we struggle with....we are to abstain from even the desire to do it.

4. Verse 12 along with Titus 2 is how I try to live my life....It's pretty much saying that we are to live in a way that unbelievers or those watching us can't even find anything against us.

Titus 2:7-8 says
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

I believe that God's word is telling us that we should be living such lives that point others in the direction of glorifying God.
"Although they accuse you of doing wrong..." we should keep living and doing what is right.

We know the world is just watching and waiting for Christians to fall. And they love to see the fall happen. How many times have we laughed at the sin of those around us?
We gossip....we make excuses for them....we turn our backs against them....

The world does not need to see just another "Christian" whom they can look at and say "I'm no different then he is" or "If THAT's what being a Christian is about, I don't want it"

What if they had nothing bad to say about us???

I'm choosing and praying now that the Holy Spirit can help me and lead me in living out 1 Peter 11-12.

Lord, may I live as an alien of this earth....focused on eternity and realizing that every single thing I do while here will be accounted for. Help me to have a Kingdom mindset, looking to You and believing You will keep your promises. May I abstain from my sinful desires so You may be glorified.....