Tag Archives: Bible

My 5/29 Messages from His Word!

In my quiet time this morning I decided that in honor of this special day – I wanted to see what God had to say in every occurrence of Chapter 5 & Verse 29 of each book in the New Testament.

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Here are the 6 – “5/29” Passages God had for me! Continue reading

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This lil piggy went wee wee wee…

all the way down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned!

Okay so I’m getting ahead of myself – what in the WORLD Continue reading

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Year in the WORD…

Okay people I am not coming up with anything NEW or EARTH-SHATTERING, but maybe I’ll make it easy for you to Continue reading

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1) Get the Party Started: Luke 1:1-4

Join me as I take a walk through the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John, (aka the “Gospels”) in a Chronological Order and try to grow closer to, and learn more about Jesus.  Feel free to go back and read the INTRO ABOUT THIS SERIES to understand where all this came from for me.

So let’s get the party started with my first installment of “On An Island With Jesus”.  Check out Luke 1:1-4.

These few verses give us a glimpse of what Luke’s purpose was for even writing this account of Jesus’ life.  Luke wasn’t one of the “original 12” – the disciples that Jesus had chosen to learn from Him during his ministry.  Luke was a physician and went about his writing in a very detailed, journalistic-type investigation process to gather the details and info.  He was writing so that people may “know the certainty” of these events of Jesus’ life and ultimately the early church.

He addresses this book to someone called “Most Excellent Theophilus” – this name means “one who loves God”.  I find it interesting that one commentator shared that this could be an actual person that Luke was writing to, all the while letting us “look in” on this letter, BUT also could simply mean that Luke was writing to people of ALL-TIME who find themselves being a “lover of God” and this name was representative.  I don’t care to get into an in depth discussion about that, just found it to be an intriguing idea.

So I will sort of think of myself as “Most Excellent Theophilus” and join in on this ride to discover more about this man named Jesus!  So now let the PARTY BEGIN!

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On an Island with Jesus??

So I mentioned that last week I got the great opportunity to go to a wonderful Church Planting Conference in Orlando called EXPONENTIAL.

At the last session I had the pleasure of hearing one of the all-time most powerful messages & challenges from one of my favorite preachers, Francis Chan (lead guy @ Cornerstone church in Simi Valley, CA), – there is no way to sum up all of what he talked about in this post, but if I come across the recording I’ll pass it on to everyone, but I would like to share a nugget that hit me & challenged me to take some “next steps” of my own.

In Francis’ message he talked about how people do so much “reading into” the Bible and not just allowing the Bible speak on it’s own.  He shared some times where he has challenged others (and even had to sort of take this challenge himself) to simply get away with God’s word and to read it as though they had never before.  The idea of – what if you were on an island and found this book the Bible, and just read it and applied it to your life.  What would that ultimately look like.

Now granted some would argue, that many people don’t even believe the Bible and it holds no standard of truth for them, and I would agree that there are many in this world like that.  But for me – I DO BELIEVE – I believe it is the authority of God and it holds the key to Truth & Light & Life for me, as well as the whole world, but all I can do is start with ME.

So I am sort of beginning on a new challenge:  Getting “On an Island with Jesus” – what I mean by that is I am taking the next couple months to read through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and as much as humanly possible to sit back as though I have not read them before.  To ask questions I have not asked before.  I am also not just going through each book on it’s own, I am going to read through them in Chronological Order.  (This is done through the fact that the LIVING BIBLE version I use has what is called the “Harmony of the Gospels” section in it.  This is where the 4 Gospels are broken down into 250 events that run in chronological order and so I will read through each event in Jesus’ life and jump back and forth between books to help read it in order, not simply just reading Matthew, then Mark, then Luke, then John – This online version is a little different from the one I have but is a good one to use) – hope that makes sense.

Also as much as possible I am planning on journaling my thoughts in a notebook and then trying as hard as I can to keep up with that on my blog here as well.  Maybe none of you really care but at least that will be some accountability for me & hopefully lead to some discussions and interesting interactions.  If anyone wants to do this along with me – either find this list on your own or let me know and I can send you the list of 250 events the same way I will be reading them.

I began yesterday and will continue – hopefully reading through about 3 events each day and taking about 3 months to go through the process.  My hope is to walk away with a new passion and understanding of who Jesus really is and how He has and will continue to affect my life!

So come join me “On an Island with Jesus”!

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Psalm 100 – Joy even today????

I’ve been trying to do better at reading a chapter or two from different books of the Bible each day and today I came across Psalm 100 and it caused me to stop and think about some things.  Can we actually experience this aspect of Joy – EVEN in our day and age, with all the crime, financial upheaval, lies, pain & sorrow – and the list goes on and on – well let’s check it out….

 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.


 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; 

       come before him with joyful songs.

 

 3 Know that the LORD is God. 

       It is he who made us, and we are his; 

       we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

 

 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving 

       and his courts with praise; 

       give thanks to him and praise his name.

 

 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; 

       his faithfulness continues through all generations.

 


Man this passage really encourages me – yeah we ALL and I mean ALL of us (some people have a tendency to always believe THEIR life is SO MUCH worse than everyone else’s is) – have trouble/sorrow/JUNK that is in our lives – Satan just enjoys filling our heads with the LIE that we are the ONLY ONES so we will isolate ourselves and only dwell on the negative.  

This passage reminds me in Vs. 5 that the Lord is GOOD and that HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER – and that His FAITHFULNESS continues through ALL GENERATIONS.

So that tells me that YES this still applies to my life even today.  I need to stop and as the old song says “count your many blessings name them one by one” – stop playing the “oh woe is me” comparison game to see how much worse my life & circumstances are compared to someone else.  To realize that I CAN come into the presence of God and worship Him with gladness and to come before Him with songs of Joy.

What a refreshing promise and reminder in these depressing days!

Can YOU claim this promise in your life?  Why not stop right now and CHOOSE JOY – that’s right we all could focus on the negative in our lives but I am pleading with you for at least this moment – in this day – to CHOOSE JOY through Jesus Christ and to slowly climb out of that pit of despair with only the POWER that our GREAT & MIGHTY GOD can provide!

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The Power of 10

men-10

number10I was reminded this morning of something I have heard talked about many times in life, but it made me stop and ponder it a lil bit more today.  You see we just came out of a “money” series at our Church this past month.  (It was called $PENT and was about whole financial life, not simply a “ploy” to guilt people into giving more money – check out the series online HERE).  Anyway a lot of the discussion invariably turns to a discussion about “tithing” and giving that first 10 percent back to God’s work.  (now I know recently there was a MUCH DISCUSSED debate, on a friend’s blog, about this whole subject and I do not desire to see that all happen again – I am simply sharing some quick thoughts)number-10-chain

I do believe that God has set a precedent for our giving and I often believe we so often focus on what the “required” amount is instead of the heart of the matter of being so thankful to God that we continually seek new ways to give EVEN MORE – to GROW in our habit of giving each and every year.  It is funny to me that we will debate till the day we die about whether or not we need to give 10% but so often never even discuss the idea of “growing in our giving”.  

I was very fortunate to witness from an early age 2 people that have set an INTENSE example of giving.  I had heard the stories of a couple that agreed upon getting married that they would set apart 15% of their income to give back to God, but not just stop there.  It was their desire and goal that each year of their marriage they would increase by 1% for as long as they felt like they could do so.  It was not till my college years that I found out that those 2 people were my own parents.

You see the beauty of this is that they always showed the example of giving and taught the lessons and value of trusting God with our tithes and offerings to my sister and I – yet at the same time never “touted their own giving as the standard”.  This subject and area of giving is so seemingly difficult to share examples from your own life because we often don’t want to go in conflict with what God’s Word says in Matthew 6:3 – But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,”.  So often times we sit by quietly not sharing and challenging people to grow in their giving.  I will say I learned some extremely valuable lessons on giving from my parents, but to this day STILL HAVE NO IDEA what actual amount or percentage they give, which to me is pretty cool.

So what about this idea of “growing in our giving”?  Would it not seem awkward if someone who learned the prayer “God is great God is good, let us thank Him for our food, by His hands we must be fed, Thank You God for daily bread – Amen!” to still be using that same prayer when they are 40 years old leading the family prayer at Thanksgiving.  Or how about someone who simply memorized at a young age “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” – to not be digging deeper into scripture as they got into their 30’s????   Yet those who may have already grabbed hold of the challenge of tithing (giving 10%) when they are younger are still doing the same some 30 years later in their life – this befuddles me (yeah I said befuddles – it is a cool word!)

Does that mean that we have not grown in our level of TRUST in God for providing for us, or have not grown in our desire to see more done in His Kingdom through our giving, than where we were that 30 years ago when we were already giving our 10% – I really struggle with this and cannot understand or accept that we think this is okay.

But back to my being reminded of this in a story this morning.  I was reading in a book and it referenced the story of Jesus and the 10 men with leprosy, found in Luke 17:11-19.  In this story Jesus comes upon 10 men with this dreaded disease, and they are outcasts, they cry out to Jesus for mercy and healing.  He tells them to go show themselves to the Priest (the custom to determine one was now clean and could return to normal living and go back to friends and family).  While on their way they realize they have been cleansed and out of the 10 only 1 of them returns to show Jesus how grateful he was.  He runs back and falls at Jesus feet to thank Him.  Then Jesus asks if there were not actually 10 that were healed, then what happened to the other 9.  I can sort of hear the disappointment in Jesus’ voice – I know He was please to see this 1 man return and I am sure Jesus felt great about the change that had occurred in this man’s life, but probably felt the hurt and sting of the lack of appreciation from the other 9.

When we read this we think to ourselves – that is SO STUPID, for these other 9 to not go back to thank Jesus – I mean how LAME could these guys be?  How easy to have turned back to go and give Him the thanks He so RIGHTLY deserves – HE GAVE THEM THEIR LIVES BACK – THEIR HEALTH BACK – THEIR FRIENDS, FAMILY, COMMUNITY BACK – what could they have been thinking!

Well folks – YOU DO THE MATH – 10% of the men DID return to Jesus, yet for us, in all of our JUDGMENTALISM that is STILL NOT ENOUGH????  Why does this set off a tinge of anger and injustice in our minds?  Yet so often we are COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY OKAY with NOT EVEN being able to give back at least 10% of our own time, treasure, and talents – HEAVEN FORBID we even give more!

How funny (in a sad way) the irony of when the shoe is on the other foot – how easy to see the fault in those other men, when we so often have a disease far worse than that of physical leprosy eating away at us – the disease of a lack of Trust in our God to provide for us when we faithfully give back to Him.

Hmmmm just some things I am thinking about today – got any thoughts??

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