Thursday, November 29, 2012
What do you get for that person who has everything? How about giving livestock, a water filter, emergency food, malaria medicine, or any other number of cool gifts? All these things can be given in honor of that person that has everything. That means they won’t get another gift that they can’t use and that a family in great need will get a gift that may save their lives. If you attend Northridge, you can get information at the table in the cafe. If not, go to www.compassion.com. We are blessed to be a blessing.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
If you are like most of us, it is easy to get distracted in prayer by everyday life. It may be that thought about what you need at the grocery store or that person you need to call. Once that thought parks itself in your mind, it is hard to focus because you are scared you will forget it. The way I handle it is by having a notepad where I pray. Whenever that thought comes, I write it down; and it is gone from my mind. When I am through praying, I take the paper and put those items on my to do list. It is so simple and effective.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
I hope you are going to have some incredible food and be thankful today. Here are a few things that I am thankful for.
- My incredible wife (I don’t know how I pulled that off - she is so far out of my league!)
- My daughter Amy and her husband Walker - San Francisco
- My son Stephen and his wife Katie - Milwaukee
- Splash the Wonder Dog
- Diet Coke
- Northridge, Northridge Staff, Northridge Volunteers, Everyone at Northridge - This is a great church!
- Florida State University Football - Go ‘Noles!
- O’Steen’s amazing shrimp - St. Augustine, FL
- Seriously - That I have been made new through Christ
Monday, November 19, 2012
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The focus is not on getting or giving. At Thanksgiving, we simply count our blessings. It is about slowing down and enjoying what our Heavenly Father has given to us. As you take time to count your blessings, why don’t you take a few minutes to say thanks to some folks that God has used to move you closer to Him. They will be encouraged, and you will be blessed.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15), both of the sons’ hearts were basically the same. They both resented the father’s authority and sought to get out from under it. They both wanted something from the father rather than enjoying the father for who he was. That can be how we relate to God. We want God’s hand with its blessings but never seek His face. When was the last time you went to the Father to just be in His presence?
Monday, November 12, 2012
Timothy Keller’s book The Prodigal God is about our God’s grace that is freely given to those who are far from Him and those who think they are close to Him by keeping all the rules. This book will open the eyes of those who don’t understand that God’s grace is big enough to accept them. At the same time, it will challenge the long-time churchgoer. The teaching of Jesus in Luke 15 is like a huge lake of truth. Most of us have only had a couple of sips. Keller’s book will pour you a big gulp of truth that will show you the heart of God.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Our staff had part of its monthly prayer morning at the Oconee River Walk. There were lots of lessons to learn from nature as we walked and prayed.
- Many of the trees were being choked to death by vines. The trees cannot get rid of the vines. They actually need help. That is very true of our lives when sin begins to choke us spiritually. We can’t deal with it by ourselves. We need the help of the Christ and the church.
- While the river was beautiful where it was flowing, there were still pools of stagnant water along the edges. Some of the water in those pools looked really nasty. We can be that way in our walk with Jesus. It can be flowing and looking pretty good, but we still have some pollution along the edges. The cure for the river is a cleansing rain that floods its banks and washes the junk away. Our cure, is to invite Jesus to flood our souls and wash us clean.
- The trees were going dormant for the winter. If the trees kept growing, it would be damaging to the trees. The winter is their time to rest and get ready for the growing season. It is clear that God has wired us to need rest. He has commanded a Sabbath. To not take a Sabbath is foolish and disobedient.