Tag Archives: Baptist

Better Than A Pinky Promise!

Pinky Promise!

What do you want for yourself, for your life?  What does God want for yourself, for your life?  I am discovering that what God wants for me and my life is much better than what I want for myself and my life.  As I look back on my life, I can see where I actually kept getting in the way of what is best.

Look at this amazing passage of Scripture, it says it so beautifully:  “2Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  2 Peter 1:2-4

God wants grace and peace to be multiplied into and through our lives.  It is multiplied as we step out of our own knowledge and into our knowledge of Him and His Son, our Savior.  This allows us to yield to His Spirit and experience His purpose and plan.

His divine power has given us everything we need to live the life of Godliness that He has called us to and created us for, a life of virtue and glory.  When I depend on my power, I rob myself of the opportunity to participate in the divine.

He has given us His exceeding great and precious promises, so that we might be partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that comes from the lust of the world.  We have a choice to make and our choice determines where and how we will live.  Notice, God does not just give us promises, He gives us His exceeding great and precious promises.

God has and wants what is best for us and our lives, lets step out of our selfishness and into His promises – we will be glad we did!

Appreciation!

Don't Hate - Appreciate!

Someone said:  “You can’t see clearly until you appreciate fully.”  I hate to admit it, but for a small part of my life, I got distracted by people’s flaws and was unable to see and appreciate their potential.  If we focus on people’s flaws and miss their potential, then eventually the relationship/friendship will break down.

I am not perfect.  In fact, the older I get, the more I realize how just how many mistakes I have made and am still making.  Hopefully, I am at least beginning to learn from some of them.  None of us are flawless, but all of us have accomplishments and potential.  Many times our accomplishments and potential go unnoticed, because most of the people in our world are looking for what is wrong, instead of what is right.

When I was growing up, I used to hear the older folks talking a lot about appreciation.  I think appreciation may be one of the great lost art forms of our time.  To appreciate means that we make an intentional effort to look past and beyond the flaws, mistakes and mess-ups and instead focus in on a person’s value.  Every person in this life has value and contribution that makes life better.

Appreciation isn’t so much about saying “thank you”, as it is actually taking the time to recognize and understand the other person’s value and contribution that they can make.

I need to get better at appreciation.  In fact, I want to pull out this old art form from the past and put it into practice, but I can’t do it by myself.  I need your help.  If enough of us get it and practice it, then it will become a part of our nature.

Here are a few things that I am trying to do to practice appreciation for others:

1.) Accept people as they are!  I don’t have to agree with everything and I don’t have to like everything about a person to find something of value to appreciate in them.  Sure I want to see people grow, improve and live up to their potential, but I am learning that before I can help anyone do anything, I first have to accept. appreciate and love them.

2.) Be willing to learn new things!  I am a human being, but I don’t know all there is about human beings and what it means to live and succeed as one.  Since I have room in my life to grow, then I need to be open to differences of opinion, realizing that while, I don’t have to agree, that I also don’t have to let it tear apart what could be a meaningful relationship of relationships.  Sometimes we burn our bridges with no idea of who else could walk across them.

3.) Consider The Quickies:  There are a few things that I need to do and keep doing to really appreciate others.  I need to PAY ATTENTION.  I am sometime so focused on myself that I miss everything else around me – must continually work on this one!  I need to ASK MEANINGFUL QUESTIONS.  Questions help me to get below the surface, so that I can know more.  The more I know about you, the more opportunity, I have to find something to appreciate.  I need to REALLY CARE.  I care.  I have always cared, but I am learning that I can care more deeply and more real.  I am also discovering that I want to.

Appreciation is a choice.  We want others to make the choice to appreciate us, but maybe we need to make the choice first, and then take whatever might come our way.  Just a little something we all need to think about.  Here’s a question for you:  Who do you or who can you appreciate today?  Take the time to appreciate them and you will be glad you did!

A New Lesson In Friendships!

A few months ago, I started a series of messages on Friendship!  We focused on friendship with God and friendship with others!  I love and appreciate all of my friends, but realize that I have not and I do not always show this in the way that I should.  It’s not that I don’t care or that I am not interested.  It’s just that, if I am your friend, then I am your friend and nothing is going to change that on my part.  (This is how I think in my head and heart and feel that if you know me, then you should know this about me!)  What I am learning is that while I may have an expectation that my friends accept and believe that, some of my friends need continuing reassurance.  (They may know it, but not believe it or understand it!)

When I first began to realize this need that some of my friends had, my first thought was that they are not much of a friend if they don’t know me and believe me as I am.  (I have other friends that get it and it’s not a problem for them!)  And then I slowly began to realize that everybody has their on perception.  I should be able to expect that they would work to give me the benefit of the doubt, but if they don’t or won’t, then I still have the responsibility and obligation as a friend to try to help my friend see, know and experience the real me.  Some would say:  “They are not really your friend, if they have that attitude!”  But the issue is not their being my friend.  The issue is my being their friend.  I am not responsible for their actions or reactions!  I am responsible for my own.  And even when people who say they are friends are not friendly, I have a responsibility and obligation to continue to be friendly, because that’s what friends do!  (Many times all of us think we are being or doing, but we are fooling ourselves and that is why someone in the friendship has to be willing to go the extra mile or the friendship will die!)

God is our friend and we don’t always treat God the way that He should be treated, but He patiently gives us time, space, knowledge and wisdom to figure it out!  He does this because He is our friend and wants us to be a friend back!  So, before you write somebody off, make sure that you are doing your part as a friend.  It’s a blessing for you, them and everybody.  And the best part is that it brings glory to God when we get this right!  And it is really cool, when you get to travel that extra mile together!

Thank you for being my friend and for reading this blog!  I hope it challenges, encourages and blesses you!

How Old Are You?

David's been crying because I never mention him in a blog - so here ya go!
David's been crying because I never mention him in a blog - so here ya go!

Last night we talked about “What’s The Big Deal About Age?” We are working our way through 1 Samuel 3 and we were taking a look at old Eli and Young Samuel and discovered that there are some things that we need to learn wherever we are in our journey!

The Problem With Getting Old! Getting old does not have to be a bad thing.  In fact getting old can be a good thing, if we will learn to age with Grace!  But for a lot of people, the problem with getting old comes when you get to a point where you stop learning.  Eli was loosing his physical vision and had already lost most of his spiritual vision.  He was more than likely loosing his ability to hear physically and he had certainly already lost his ability to hear spiritually.  There came a point in his growing older that he stopped learning.  There came a point when he just stopped seeing and hearing the things of God!  What a tragedy!

As we get older – we begin to lose our physical senses! As we lose our physical senses, we need to enhance and grow our spiritual senses.  As the physical dies – the spiritual should grow.  As the flesh grows old, the spirit should grow strong!  Getting old does not have to be a bad thing.  You just need to learn to make the switch from physical to spiritual.  This is what we ought to spend our lives doing any way!

As we all get older and begin to lose our physical senses – let’s make sure that we are working to grow, develop and strengthen our spiritual senses, so that we can hear, see and respond to the awesome stuff of God!

Three Things You Can’t Do!

“Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God!”  Romans 5:1-2

There are three things that you cannot do, no matter how hard you try!  You can pretend to do these things and many people do, but to what advantage?

You Cannot Save Yourself! Scripture tells us that we are “justified through faith!”  Our being justified (made right) comes through faith, but not just any ole faith will do.  We must have faith in someone or something that matters or it is all for nothing.  We are made right with God through our faith in Jesus Christ!  It does not matter how smart or slick you think you are.  You will never be smart or slick enough to save yourself.  Jesus came and died on the cross – to do for you and me – what we could not do for ourselves!

You Cannot Manufacture Peace! Because we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  I am not talking about a moment of no worries.  I am talking about an inner certainty that everything is going to be okay as we trust, yield and follow God.  The very best that we can do in our everyday living is to put a band aid on the situations and circumstances that are bringing us down.  When you are made right with God through faith in Jesus, then you know that whatever is going on in your life is being used for God’s glory and man’s blessing as we trust and surrender to God and His magnificent will!

You Cannot Waste Grace! Faith in Jesus allows us to stand and walk in grace!  I think a lot of people now a days are living with a “fake grace!”  We like to say that we have received this beautiful gift from God, but the truth is this: If you have the gift of grace – it will change your life and the way that you live it! I see a lot of people now a days wasting grace, but it’s not God’s grace.  It is a grace that man has made up to justify his doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants and that is not grace at all!  It’s real or it’s fake and the way to tell is by how you are living your life!

Where Do You Stand?

You can’t save yourself, but you can be saved!  Just put your trust in the only One that really matters and let Him take care of the justification.

You can have peace, but you have to get rid of that pretend stuff that you have made up to open up your life to the real stuff that flows out of a growing and meaningful relationship with Jesus!

You got grace just waiting for you to allow yourself to really experience freedom.  Not freedom to do whatever you want, but freedom to do the right things that guide your life into and through blessing!

Realize what you can’t do and get out of God’s way and let Him work!  As God works on, in and through you, make sure that you are living the life that is giving Him the glory and you can’t help but experience the blessing!

U-Turn Blessings!

u_turn_sign_2So you have heard from God and made the decision to turn your life around! The Spirit has spoken and you have listened from the inside – out!  The message inside your heart will change the outside of your life!  Now that you are heading away from the destructive patterns of the world and toward the constructive plans of Heaven – what should you expect?

When we repent, change, u-turn or 180, then we can expect God to show up in big ways! God wants to do an amazing work to you and through you!

First – we can look for REFRESHING! I talk to people every day about life stuff and have discovered that most people are tired, frustrated, discouraged and just plain weak from the blows that life has dealt them.  We all need and long for refreshing!  Refreshing is not something that we can do for ourselves.  Refreshing is the work of God.  You can open your life to it, but God has to do the work.  When we repent, we open our lives to the refreshing work of the Holy Spirit.  God comes into our tired, frustrated and discouraged lives and strengthens us with power, hope and encouragement.

Second – God will provide RESTORATION! This is an amazing and beautiful gift from God.  Often times as we live our lives and make mistakes, we will later discover that our mistakes were not cheap, in fact they often costs us so much more than we ever dreamed we would have to pay.  But God is more than faithful and when we repent, He begins to put back together the broken pieces of our lives.  Your life may seem like a big ole mess, but it is never to big of a mess for God.  In fact God specializes in taking the impossible and making it possible!  Just trust Him and do what you know you need to do!

Third – God will bring REVIVAL! God has a whole new spiritual place that He wants to take you.  He has things that He wants to show you that will change your life for all eternity.  God wants to grow you from the inside-out and enable you to do awesome and mighty things for Him and His glory.

Make sure that you have made the turn away from self and go running just as fast as you can into the open arms of a loving Heavenly Father!  You will be glad, so glad that you did – as you experience His refreshing, restoration and revival!

Chick-Fil-A!

Hope & Grace!

Hope & Grace!

 I am the proud parent of two amazing little girls!  Gracie is eight and Hope is four.  They teach me something new every day!  They love me with an unconditional love – just because I am their Daddy.  They love to wrestle.  They love movies.  They love video games.  And they love Chick-fil-a!  They would eat Chick-fil-a for every meal – every day.  I used to think that they liked Chick-fil-a because of the playground, but that’s not it.  They like Chick-fil-a because of the chicken!  Every time they get nuggets with Polynesian sauce – it is all good – every single time!  They know what they like and they trust what they like and it fulfills and fills them!

This is what God and His Word does for me!  When I was younger, I had a youth leader who taught me how to go to the Word and hear from God.  When I learned how to open up the Word and hear from God, my relationship with God went to a whole new level.  Now I go there every day, because I know what to expect and I know that it is going to be good – really good!  I have been going back to God and His Word every since before I became a teenager and I have never walked away dissatisfied!

Go enjoy a Chick-fil-a today and also take some time to meet God in His Word!  You won’t be dissatisfied!