Scripture Memorization, Week 32

It’s hard to believe we are in the 32nd week of the year…isn’t it?

Here is this week’s memory verse:

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Can I ask you a question?

What are you trying to handle on your own, and God would love for you to get out of the way, surrender to His will, and let Him handle? 

I’d love to know you’re still out there reading these memory verses.

Are you?

7 Things This Pastor Would Love From His Church

I have such a generous church. Every week someone sends me a note or an email to tell me they are praying for me. I routinely get encouragement when I need it most. Some of our closest friends are at Grace. I’m so thankful for the body of Christ.

A question I receive often is, “Pastor, what can I do for you?” or “How can I pray for you?” People think I do for others, so they want to do something in return. I’m so thankful for that kind of heart.

Actually, the church does plenty for me, but since you asked….

Here’s what I would love from my church:

  • Understanding that I’m human and will make mistakes…
  • Prayer that I would stay focussed, committed and faithful…
  • Seeing a need within the church or community and meeting it without being asked…
  • Not looking to be spoon fed but taking ownership and responsibility for spiritual growth…
  • Realizing that I can’t be everywhere or do everything I might wish I could…
  • Bringing new people with them as often as they can…
  • Making church services a priority over other activities, rather than the other way around…

I realize it’s a daunting list…

It’s not an easy list to complete…

But you did ask…

Or, at least, some of you did…

By the way…I love the picture with this post…

Can I get an Amen?

Pastor, what would you like from your church?

Simple Doesn’t Mean Easy

Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it is easy

Simple directions to a gas grille…never easy…

Simplifying things for people…may make them easier to understand…

But won’t make them easy…

You can simplify the terms or the make the process seem easy to follow…

But nothing of any great quality is ever really easy…

You can have a simple diet plan, but following it won’t be easy…

You can simplify for someone how they should train to run a marathon, but it won’t be easy…

I can even give you some simple principles to improve your marriage, your parenting or your leadership, (I try to do that every day) but they won’t be easy…

Becoming a mature follower of Christ…a disciple…I can tell you how to do that in fairly simple terms…I try to do that when I preach and teach…

Just remember…

Simple doesn’t mean easy…

Help this post: Name one thing that sounds simple, but isn’t easy…

One Secret to Having a More Productive Week

Here’s a secret to having a more productive week:

Spend 30 minutes Sunday afternoon or evening, or even early Monday morning, planning your week.

Give everything you have to do an estimated time and place it on your calendar. Make sure you allot time for recreation, exercise and family. Even schedule some time to read and/or dream.

Then try…as hard as you can…to work the plan. When interruptions come in your week, unless they are true emergencies, you have a valid reason to say no.

Let me know how it goes.

Shhh…Don’t give away our little secret! 

For a more detailed listing of how I do this, click HERE.

Hearing the Voice of God

Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:20-21

These verses aren’t my life verses…maybe they should be…

You see…

Most of my life I’ve been desperate for a word from God…

I’ve wanted to know His thoughts…

I want His input into my life…

I want to know His will…

Just being honest, I’ve probably spent more time wondering His will than I have obeying His will.

(I hope that doesn’t disappoint you…)

Sure, I know lots of His will I can obey everyday…right from the pages of His Word…

But, to know the will of the things not clearly outlined in Scripture…well…sometimes I’m left wondering…

I have learned this, however…

Many times God has to get my attention to get me to listen…

And then there’s…

Bread

Bread is pretty essential for survival. I’ve traveled lots of places…people love their bread. In San Francisco, they claim to have the best sour dough bread anywhere. Germany seemed to love their bread too. In Malta there was this bread of which I couldn’t get enough. Everywhere I’ve been, bread seems to be a staple. It’s a basic commodity.

Yet, God gives us the bread of adversity.

And then there’s…

Water

Everyone knows we can’t live long without water. There are whole ministries trying to provide water to people around the world, because people are dying without it. They say our city’s water has algae in it…or something like that…because of the heat. It’s supposedly safe to drink, but people are complaining. During my long training periods for running, when I start aching all over, I know I haven’t had enough water. Water is a critical commodity.

Yet, God gives us the water of affliction.

I don’t understand.

But, then the verse says, “your teachers will be hidden no more” …

“whether you turn to the right or to the left” …

“you ears will hear a voice behind you” …

“this is the way”…

That’s what I’m looking for, right?

Perhaps I’ve been looking at trials all the wrong way…

Perhaps trials bring me closer to the heart of God…

Perhaps a trial makes me desperate for my Creator…

Perhaps nothing like a trial produces in me a longing for God…

Perhaps God uses trials to show me His love…His provision…to teach and mold me…and to point me in the way I am to go…

Which is what I wanted in the first place…

I don’t know…just thinking…

What do you think?

I’ve written other thoughts on hearing the voice of God HERE.

Building a House

The wise woman builds her house…

(Proverbs 14:1)

If you want to build a house…

It takes a plan…

It takes diligence…

It requires the right materials…

It takes time…

It involves sleepless nights…

It requires discipline…

It’s not done in front of the television or computer…

It’s not cheap…

It will stretch your heart…in various directions…

It will not always make you the popular parent…

It will require sacrifice…

It’s not easy…

But…

Its rewards last for generations…

Parents…

Are you building your house?

What else does building a house require?

(To see my personal parenting model, click HERE.)

Scripture Memorization, Week 31

What if this week, instead of taking the problems of this world as your own, you saw them as temporary problems…momentary bumps on an eternal road…???

What if you chose not to dwell on the tragedy of life, but on the triumph of eternal life?

What if you memorized this verse?

Here is this week’s memory verse:

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ Philippians 3:20

Gutsy Leaders Only Please…

I want to come help your leadership!

If you lead a team…

I want to help you be a better leader…

It won’t be easy…

You’ll be intimidated at first…

You’ll be nervous…

I promise…

But…

It will open your eyes to some holes in your leadership…

It will help your team trust you more…

It will make your team’s communication better…

It will challenge you to improve personally…

I promise…

Want to know more?

Click HERE.