Monday, November 9, 2009

Changing Winds - The Calling of God

The past two months have almost been surreal in nature. God has changed us in so many ways and shown us different ways to look at His calling in our lives. I am starting to understand how the soon to be disciples "dropped left their nets and followed Him" (Matthew 4:20). The nets are a symbolism of the things that hold you back from being sold out and following Jesus completely.

My (not speaking for my wife although she too has some of the same) nets have been plenty as I live comfortably here in Florida on a farm. We have been attending a church where we felt everyone needed to be hearing the word from 'our' pastor. I have a job that is secure which is incredible in these insecure times. Our daughters and their devoted husbands are close by and well within reach. Yet, with all of this, we have felt 'called out' by God.

Our farm belongs to God. We have determined that in our hearts for years. We have felt the call to develop our farm into a outreach for missionaries to use for training and furlough. It has not gone as far as we dreamed but along the same token, we have hosted several missionaries and learned a lot about different types of farming and animal husbandry. Are WE the missionaries that will use this farm as a primary place of training and furlough?

Due to some external circumstances beyond our control, we no longer attend the church where at the time, we felt that everyone needed to be. Instead, we are attending a much smaller church where the Word of God is preached and indeed feel 'at home' among the people even though we know almost no one.

Wow, how can that be? I'm really starting to understand 'the church'. You see when Paul was writing to 'the church' in Galatia or Corinth, he was not writing to one church. He was writing to the followers of Christ in a region. There would have been many small groups of believers to whom Paul was writing. I have come to understand this lately. Being a believer in Christ and a devoted Christ follower is not about A church but about ministering to His kingdom.

We both work extensively with Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan's Purse. We have also been introduced this past year to the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators and their support organizations such as Wycliffe Associates and JAARS. Our hearts have been drawn towards countries in Africa such as Sudan and Ghana.

God, where are you calling us to go? I now understand that wherever you call us to be, you are already there. The road that you are asking us to travel, your footsteps are there to guide us. God, stretch me out of my comfort zone and into your zone of service and protection. Where you lead, I will follow.

May the following video be your prayer as it is mine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Turning Fear and Anxiety into Trust

I have been studying Learning to Pray by Billy Graham in my devotion time each day. The chapter that I'm in presently is 'Emotions that defeat us'. When he started talking about worry and fear, it started really hitting home. This is an area that I really struggle with. I know the promises that God has for me in the Bible yet I do not live them out. With that in mind and wishing to share my heart with you, what follows is an exerpt from my journal today:

Bible Study:
In speaking about emotions that defeat us, Billy Graham says that when our lives are "overrun by fear, we can easily become paralyzed. We also fail to trust God when we allow worry and fear to dominate us." This is one of the biggest things for me. Fear and doubt. Why?

Proverbs 22:3 "A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." Have I done my part? If so, am I willing to allow God to protect and guide me?

Dangers can come from things seen and things unseen. 1 Peter 5:8 says to "be self-controlled and alert, you enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

When fear and worry are present, God's peace is absent. I must learn to trust God's promises. They are throughout the Bible. What do I fear the most? Believe it or not, I think I fear the lack of God's provision. How stupid of me. God has always come through, yet I fear … hmm, I fear that I will make a decision that is outside of His will that He will not provide for and I will jeopardize our finances.

Another area is direction in Kay's and my life. I am the spiritual leader yet I feel so inadequate.

Billy Graham speaks of Psalm 118:6 "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" I don't fear man but instead it looks like I fear myself! Can I rephrase this verse to read "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can I do to me"?

Fear and faith work against each other because they are mutually exclusive. Could it be that I cannot live in faith because I've never really had too? Or have I and yet I didn't recognize it as living in faith?

Steps to change:
1. Turn my anxiety and fear over to God
a. Psalm 55:22 "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall."
b. 1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
2. Stand on God's promises
a. Hebrews 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.""
b. Psalm 23 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
c. John 16:33 "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
3. Pray diligently
a. The end result of inviting God to live THROUGH me is found in Philippians 4:6 - 7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Dear God in heaven, creator of the heavens and the earth. King of kings and Lord of lords, you know everything and you know my heart, God. I love you so and want to be the absolute best servant that I can be for you. Yet, doubt in myself is holding me back from living in faith. I am grasping on to what is tangible and not reaching out to you like I should. If Peter did the same, he would have never taken a step outside of the boat.

God, my Father, give me the faith of Peter. Give me the courage to step out. God, you have called me to lead my family. We have so much to do here on earth. The fields are abundantly white for harvest and you have given us the tools that we need to harvest the crop… Our farm, our work with the church body, Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan's Purse, Wycliffe Associates. Oh my… Lord God, please guide us… guide me as the spiritual leader. Help me to trust in you more daily. May I have a hunger for your word that passes all understanding. God I don't want to be anxious about anything but I want to present all my requests to you that I may have the peace that you are so willing to provide. God, guide me today. Amen.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Prayer - As Vital as Food and Air

I am studying prayer in my Bible study and it is incredibly enlightening to me. I am learning that it is not an 'accessory' to a victorious Christian life but as absolutely vital as food and air. If that is the case, why do most Christ Followers treat it like a map folded in the glove box?

What follows is some of what I wrote in my devotions today. I am posting it here because, well truthfully I feel that God is leading me to do so. I pray that it will be enlightening to you as you also seek God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit.

Just an ok kind of day. Governing board meeting and the like. Left my wallet @ home so it was a day without meals until I got home. My mind just kind of existed and I didn't have any formidable conversation with God. And I feel it too… my spirit's fuel tank is running on low. All I wanted to do when I came home was to sleep.

Bible Study:
Studying about the 'process of prayer'. It starts with a 'broken and contrite heart' (Psalms 51:17). God will only hear my prayers and will only be open to my conversation with Him if I am of the right mind. This is why confession is towards the front of any prayer. ACTS A-adoration, C-confession, T-thanksgiving, S-supplication. This is not a magic formula but it is vital to approach a perfect God.
Romans 12:2 'Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.' The 'renewing of my mind' involves prayer.

Billy Graham says "It is apparent that prayer, when prioritized in the Christian life, is the difference between thriving Christians and struggling Christians. If you find yourself struggling, take a close look at your prayer life. In doing so, you'll rediscover the key to growing stronger in your faith." Wow, yesterday was perfect example of a 'struggling Christian' kind of day… blah, no direction, and it affected every part of my day! Prayer should be as necessary to me as breathing and eating… an necessary and vital part of my life.

God, my Lord and my Savior, you reign supreme. Nothing occurs without your knowledge. It all becomes confusing to us when we see things happen because you have allowed mankind to have free will. We question 'why' when we see suffering yet you provided free will to allow us to love you. Forgive me, Lord when I let my free will just allow me to coast through the day without acknowledging you and asking you for direction and guidance. Forgive me for not just communing with you throughout the day. You want to guide me and yet I treat you like a road map left in the glove box. God, please forgive me. God, I come to you with a heart and mind that yearns to be led by you. Holy Spirit, please take my hand and guide me today.

God, I have been feeling overwhelmed this week. You gave us such a wonderful time of rest and reflection last weekend in North Carolina and Tuesday hit me like a brick wall and it has been that way all week. Each day drained me a little more and now it is now Friday and God, I am tired… out of fuel. I know that it is because I have not been pulling up to your 'fuel pump' to be refreshed and refilled via prayer. Forgive me, God.

So many things are on my mind regarding the farm and how to make things happen. The fencing for the hogs and the sheep fold, walling in the shelter to create a lambing shelter, a barn, a way to pay for it all. God, if it weighs me down, it is obviously because I am not giving these concerns to you. God, I am sorry and ask for forgiveness. Help me to learn to become a victorious Christian through prayer. Not for my glory but for yours.

Thank you, God for loving us so that you gave your one and only Son for us. Thank you… Amen.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

America - The Modern Day Judah

I was reading 2 Kings 24 - 25 this morning. The troops are destroying Judah, killing masses of people and taking the rest captive back to Babylon. Only a few are left to tend the land. Judah gets destroyed just as the prophets predicted.

Bottom-line, if God says it then it's going to happen! 2 Kings 24:3 spells it out clearly. "Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord's command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood." Our Holy God cannot withstand sin in His presence. If He did, He would not be Holy.

The blood of 3500 innocent unborn babies are shed each and every day in this country as a result of abortion. How long until America is like Judah in God's eyes. I will add America to my prayer list today. It makes me think of 2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land".

Will we repent as a nation or will we be "thrust from His presence" (2 Kings 24:20) due to the Lord's anger.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I sit here this morning looking out over our sheep thinking of how David did the same thing 3000 years ago. They depend on us for food, water, and safety. Alone, they are helpless and destined to die prematurely due to starvation, dehydration, disease, or predator. We are also the same in God's eyes. Yet, he does not fence us in but allows us to have free will to come and go from under his protection. It is amazing to watch these guys in this lush pasture reaching through the fence because I guess 'the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence'. Without fences, we as Christ Followers can do the same if we do not have our eyes on our Creator.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I was reading Isaiah 5 - 8 this morning. What follows is an excerpt from what was written in my journal.

Bible Study:

God carefully tends us as a farmer lovingly tends his vineyard. He prunes us and cultivates the weeds away from our roots to allow us to grow to our fullest potential. How does my yield look for Him? Am I doing my best?

One of my very favorite verses in the Bible is found in Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said “Here am I. Send me!”

Wait upon the Lord, put my trust in Him. Isaiah was a great prophet that I can tell was in ‘tune’ with God and what He had to say. How can I emulate that in my life? Wait upon the Lord and put my trust in Him. Clear out anything that is a barrier between me and God. Develop my focus to be on Him as a farmer tends his crop.

This is making me think of our vegetable garden. We have had a hard time cultivating an abundant crop of vegetables. The lack of nutrients in the soil (Bible study/Prayer), weeds and pests (Sins of commission as well as sins of omission. Things in my life that certainly are not bad in themselves yet they consume my time and energy thus keeping me away from God’s plan for me to be abundant for Him). How do I change this in the garden. I must start with sterile soil (forgiveness of sins). Before planting my crop I need to test the soil and add the correct nutrients to promote seed germination and growth (consistent study and prayer). As my crop grows and develops, I must be diligent to check for pests everyday (sin). These pests (weeds, insects, whatever) must be removed… one by one if need be. If the crops grow tall, I need to support them with trellises or stakes (supporting those that are actively spreading the Gospel). Harvest comes with thanksgiving to the One that made it all possible (praise/worship).

Our garden this fall will be different. It will not be choked with weeds and pests. We will be diligent on a daily basis. I pray for my life to be likewise.


My precious Father, my Redeemer, you are too glorious to fathom. You see all, you know all, you are everywhere and yet you know my heart, my thoughts and you wish to commune with me. My King, I worship you. I deserve death and you give me life, I am nothing and yet you scoop me into your arms with a love that is beyond comprehension.

Forgive me, Lord for not tending the garden of my life. Help me to start again even today to carefully cultivate, test and plant with loving care. Help me to see the pests and to not ignore but to take action immediately to remove the pests from my garden. I ask all of this that I may produce an abundant crop of souls for your kingdom. Help me to be ever-learning and ever-seeking your direction for my life. Amen.

I pray that these words may encourage you. If they do, please take time to encourage me as we can both grow towards what God is calling us to do by supporting each other.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Time - 24 Hours


We are all given 24 hours of it each day. How we use this time determines what we will look back on as accomplishments after the day ends.

I wrestle with this because I always doubt myself when it comes to time management. I want to be doing the things that God wants me to do, yet so often I look back and wonder if I have wasted yet another day.

Should I outline my day to be efficient? Should I set one or two priorities each day? Should I just "let it flow"?

'There is a time for everything...' (Ecc 3:1) This verse speaks about time and how precious it is to each of us. This chapter though seems to speak of the key pinnacles of time where big decisions are made. OK, but what about today? It is just a normal day... hey wait, doesn't most EVERYDAY start as just a normal day?

Two passages in the Bible are really speaking to me this morning though as they reference this 'normal' day ahead of me.

The first one is Romans 13:11-12 which says "...understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." I am to be alert to God's guidance and not dragging around half alert. I can plan my day but I need to be aware of the times that God REdirects me during the day. This passage also tells me to pay attention to what is happening in the world today. "Understanding the present time" to me doesn't mean to worry about the politics around the world but I should pay attention as it will help me to prioritize my tasks.

The second passage about time that is Hosea 10:12. "Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you." Sow, reap, and break up unplowed ground. In relationships, always be tending the garden as you would your flower garden. Is it full of weeds and pests or beautiful flowers? In my daily walk... my 24 hours, tend my time with care as to make the most of today. I need to take time to aim for the completion of tasks that God has laid on my heart as important to Him. It could be reaching out to another as I am seeking to do in this post. It could be as 'mundane' as mowing the yard or doing the laundry.

How am I doing? How are you doing? Do you have some weeding to do in your plans today? I pray that you do. May we all be alert to the gift of TODAY. God has given us 24 hours. How will you use this precious gift?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Grand Canyon

Kay and I are on our way back from an incredible trip to Arizona and the Grand Canyon. We saw sights that cannot be put into words. We learned about many of the Native American people that have inhabited this area for thousands of years.

I look forward to taking time to study more about this land and its peoples. I look forward coming back and hiking some of the canyon as well as going into the canyon on a mule.

It is a trip that I will cherish always.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Retooling my DevotionalTime

How many of you have those times when you just can't seem to get out of first gear with your daily devotions. I've been that way lately and some mornings I can't even get out of Park!

For the last year-and-a-half I've been using a really cool Bible reading plan ( It is a chronological reading of the Bible. What is so cool about it is that there are so many portions of the Bible that deal with the same time period and same events yet they are books apart in the Bible. This reading plan pulls them together.

That being said, it is time for something different. I don't want to do the 'ol read a short passage and then read a 'relevant' story of today either though. That to me isn't studying the Bible. It is equivalent to listening to a sermon where the pastor reads a short passage then takes off on a story for the rest of the sermon. In these situations, the Bible is only being used as a springboard instead of a textbook on life.

No, I need to come up with something different. What is coming to mind right off and is using my study notes from the weekly message from my church as a focus area. I usually have no less than 20 Bible references and passages included in my notes. Journaling on that may be an interesting option. What do you think?

One other practice that I will continue though is reading a chapter of Psalms and Proverbs each day. This allows me to read Psalms close to 5 times per year and Proverbs 12 times per year.

What kind of plan do you have? If you don't have one, consider the one above. Remember, if you don't aim for a goal, you'll likely miss the mark!

Blessings as we all learn together from the Textbook on Life... God's Word... The Bible.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Abundant Blessings Farm and Missions

God has a great plan for our farm, I just know it. Actually, it is HIS farm and we are just caretakers... let me tell you about it.

It is 20 acres west of Vero Beach, Florida. Citrus surrounds the farm and we also have 7 acres of citrus. We also have three pastures which will soon be home to a small herd of sheep. We have chickens and a vegetable garden. God has given us heaven on earth but He has given this to us for a reason.

We are being led to develop this farm into a place where missionaries can come and go. A place of furlough, , a place of agricultural training, a place of peace and rest.

It is exciting and we have had several missionaries stay with us already over the past couple of years. We feel led to do more though. A barn needs to be built that will be for the farm. This barn will not only be for the farm itself but will have the facilities to hold meetings and small get togethers. It will be a place of worship and teaching, a place of fellowship and revelation.

I've been studying faith lately and am amazed at the ways Christ Followers have step out of the boat and walked on water in so many regards and in so many ways. How can I do that with this barn... How can we do this with this farm! I don't see where the finances will come from. (hmm, faith)? I don't see the logistics to make it happen. (hmm, faith)? I don't see how I can get this vision out to others. (hmm, faith)? I just seem to be in the land of "I don't..." instead of in the land of taking a step and seeing what God CAN do.

Please lift this venture up in your prayers and if you have any comments or suggestions, we would love to hear them. You can reply to this blog or email me directly at


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Green - The New Religion

Religion (a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects).

I watch each day as the 'green' environmental movement gains steam in the United States and elsewhere and have determined that this is the religion that is gaining steam the fastest.

It is being taught... albeit indoctrinated in our preschools, kindergardens, elementary, middle and high schools. Many pastors are preaching green from the pulpits. We are spending billions in the government and public sectors to be 'green'... while at the same time, billions are starving around the world due to hunger.

Where is our balance? Where is our reasoning? Do we now care more about some microbe that scientists have determined is nearing extinction than humankind?

I care plenty about this beautiful globe that God has placed us on. In Genesis, God tells us that we are to care for the earth and the creatures under our care. I don't see anywhere where we are to elevate their status above mankind.

Pull back and think, please! Sure, we need to do all we can to preserve what God has given us but within reason.

As Earth Day (yep... green) approaches, think about the 6.7 Billion people that are on the earth and how we can help them. God will take care of the rest... yes, he is able.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A New Mission Vision Emerging?

Lately I've been digging deep into the Word of God and exploring what God is speaking to me through His text. I am also in the midst of taking a class on Missions and filtering what I'm learning there through what I see in today's society and the movement of our country.

My wife and I have a vision from God that we are to turn our small farm (actually His farm) into a place where missionaries can stop over during their furloughs to rest, relax and recharge. In addition, we see the farm as an opportunity to extend basic training in crop production and animal care to those that are in need of additional training.

Watching how our country is spiraling from a democratic republic towards socialism and beyond though has given me a new vision. Our focus thus far has been toward helping those that have been sent from the United States to other countries and are back in the U.S. on furlough. Could it be though that God actually wants us to stay put here while our country sinks deeper to be a stopover and source of support to foreign missionaries coming to the United States? Could the United States be the next big mission field?

No matter what the answer, we want to be obedient to the call. All we have is His and we want to use the resources entrusted to us for His glory and for His Kingdom. Time is short and the second coming of Christ is neigh. There are billions of souls out there that are destined to an eternity in hell if they do not hear and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am ready to be used by God today, are you?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spreading the Gospel is Not an Option

I went to my first 'Missions 101' class at my church last night. My church is big-time into missions and sends people constantly around the world on short and long-term missions. Although these trips many times are designed around a building project or whatever, the primary purpose of all missions trips is evangelism... spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 28:19 says "go..." and it does not make it optional. Whether my mission field is local with someone I meet today or global via an Operation Christmas Child shoebox or a trip around the world, I am to spread the Gospel.

Until now I have always thought that I'll spread the Gospel when I am trained and yes, I should work towards that goal but I can still use the knowledge that God has given me to spread the Gospel today also. A person that I meet today may die tonight! If I do not allow God to reach them through me, their eternal life may be spent in hell! Oh my...

Today is the day of salvation. Christ Followers, today is the day to spread the Gospel. God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and strength (1 Timothy 1:7 - 12).

Today is the day.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

EACH Day is Precious

I found out last night that my father-in-law has cancer. The Big "C". That kind of news is common to many of you and you may even be the one with cancer. At work, my executive director will be having surgery (yet again) for cancer. Each day is precious...

Today, more that 850,000,000 people are either hungry or starving... a little under 1/6 of the world's population. Each day is precious... and critical for their survival.

Today, many people died without hearing about the ONLY way to heaven... by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Each day is precious...

Monday, February 16, 2009


Last night on the farm was somewhat busy and restless as we have our closest encounter with coyotes since we have been here. I didn't hear them but Gustav (our nighttime guard dog) and Kay heard what sounded like plenty of them. I'm used to hearing them yelp in the distance but Kay said they were close and were not only yelping but howling.

Kay woke me as I had already gone to bed and I went out into the pasture at midnight to check on the animals (all of which were fine). I listened for about twenty minutes and then fired off a couple of warning shots with my shotgun to scare them away if they were still around. The rest of the night was filled with light sleeping but it was quiet.

It makes me think about the spiritual battlefield that where we are all presently standing. Just like a sheep in our pasture with coyotes stalking around in the dark; we are sheep in a pasture with satan's demonic forces stalking about.

There is one vital difference though. As Christ Followers, we are protected from the stalking forces by the Holy Spirit. We must be on our guard with the armor of God on our bodies and realize that we are indeed on a battlefield but the battle is not ours to fight, it is God's and he will fight for us. We must just be prepared.

I am so thankful that I have a God that cares enough about me to be my Shepherd and my defender.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In God We Trust

As I read news of 300 people being laid off from Piper Aircraft in my little town of Vero Beach, Florida, I am reminded of the motto that is on the coins and paper money in the United States of America.

"In God We Trust" is something that our eyes probably glance on every day. Do we REALLY trust God though. Sure, it is easy to say that I trust God during the good times when money is in our bank accounts and we are healthy. But what about when the money is short and there is no job available? Do we continue to trust God in the same way?

The Israelites HAD to trust God for their daily provisions when they were in the desert for forty years, they had no other choice. Can I do the same? Am I called to do the same EVEN when I do have a good job, bills are being paid and my family is healthy and happy? I believe that we are indeed called to trust the same way.

I have to admit that it is difficult though and as we read Exodus, it was hard for the Israelites then also. That does not diminish what I SHOULD be doing. God, help us in our unbelief that you will provide... that you will sustain... that you will provide a way. God, please come to the point of our need.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spiritiually Leading Takes Responsibility

As the husband and father in my family, I am called by God to be the Spiritual Leader of my family. I see this extending even to my two son-in-law's as they in turn develop spiritual leadership in their new families.

I was reminded this morning in my quiet time how much responsibility that this entails. Just as Moses was the spiritual leader of the Isrealites during the forty years in the desert, I am to be a lead and guide to my family to constantly point them to God. My pastor said it well in church several weeks ago... He (God) is the Shepherd and spiritual leaders are the under-shepherds that help guide the flock.

As a Spiritual Leader, I must take responsibility when someone under my care falls. Where did I fall short and how can I change to become a better leader? How can I help to lift them back up and place them back on God's path for their life?

I was reminded of how I let distractions enter into my personal time with God. I have made some changes that will lessen these distractions. Before I start looking at the morning news stories, I will get my devotions and prayer with God done first. Sounds simple enough and I get up early to do just that but so many times, I let the morning news crowd out this time.

One other thing that I am doing is that my prayers will be deliberate and with purpose. Although it isn't a formula for prayer, a good format is known as ACTS. A is adoration, praising God for who He is. C is confession, looking back at yesterday and confessing the times that I have fallen short of His goals for me. T is thanksgiving, thanking Him that He is a God of second chances. Finally, S is for supplication. Not focusing on things that I want but things that I need to do His work. Lifting others in intercessory prayer. As the spiritual leader of my household, lifting my family in each of the activities going on in their lives.

I'm being deliberate in my prayers by writing them down and then kneeling in a submission to God, praying them out loud to Him. I'm doing this to keep distractions to a minimum. If I am voicing my prayers, my mind is not wandering on dozens of other things. I want to be focused totally... completely on Him.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dissappointment or Success

The past several days have been ones of mixed emotions. I applied for a promotion with my company when my Director left for another job. I knew that I have the qualifications that my company is looking for and was encouraged by many in my industry to seek the position.

I did my homework and studied the issues. I burnt the midnight oil in making sure that I'm up on all the angles. I created one awesome resume (if I say so myself) and received numerous letters of recommendation. I was ready!

But there is one hiccup and that issue lead to my downfall in a promotion. My superiors wanted the position to be based out of a different city that is three hours away from where I presently live. I came up with what I felt was a reasonable compromise but in the end, I was passed over due to this issue.

I prayed often about making the move but God told me over and over again "no, you are where I want you to be right now". So, I am disappointed that I was not offered the promotion but I feel relief and successful that I am within God's will in this area of my life. I could have chased the increase in pay but in the long run, being outside of God's will is not where I want to be.

The past several days have been filled with mixed emotions.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Making the Most of Today

I’ll be finishing Kirk Nowery’s book, Make the Most of Your Life today. It is a very interesting book that is not like the time management and life management books that are on most bookstore shelves.

Kirk speaks of making the most of your life from an eternal perspective as a Christ follower. He stresses Jesus’ words about how we need to be viewing even the mundane daily activities from an eternal perspective.

I know that this is how I should live and it will be an interesting exercise as I look at my waking hours and the things that I think, say, and do. You see, I ‘know’ that I should operate in this manner but knowing and putting into practice are many times two different things.

This will involve commitment to give my life to God as I wake each morning then following through on my devotions and time to study the Bible and spend time in prayer (conversation) with God. If it is a weekday, I then will need to look at my schedule and my to-do list and ask God if I need to make changes that will better accommodate what He wants me to do. Then as I go through the day I must be open to His direction which may seem like detours to me. This will be hard at first as I tend to get ‘tunnel focus’ looking only at what I have before me. I must do a better job of not only expanding my vision but also expanding my audible senses to hear others and God.

Are you also trying to ‘Make the Most of Your Life’ using God’s perspective instead of your own? Tell me about your experiences. Maybe we can encourage each other along.

Blessings to you as you journey out today!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Alamo

I had the unique opportunity to visit The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas today. It is the location where 185 brave men joined together in a single cause willingly giving their lives against an army of several thousand because they felt that freedom was worth fighting and dying for.

It is sacred ground. The building itself is now considered a shrine in honor of those that died as it well should be. The history was palatable as I walked around the place and on the grounds where the battle occurred.

Two things concerned me though as I was there. First was the tourist atmosphere that surrounded the grounds where The Alamo is located. One tourist shop after another, Ripley's Believe It or Not, on and on and on. Is this how we as a society view such a honorable and sacred location?

The second concern on my mind is how these men ... these ordinary men, from all walks of life, stood together for a single purpose and felt it worth dying for if need be. Certainly we have our young men and women in the military that make that stance and I am so grateful for them but they are indeed, military. What about you... what about me? Ordinary people doing ordinary things from day to day. If the time and the cause arose, would you ... would I lay down my day-to-day routine and be willing to die for a single cause? Is our society willing to do that or have we become to self-centered in our lives.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chickens, Coffee, Arthritis and Sore Muscles

The past week has been consumed with building a chicken coop for Kay. I gave her six baby chicks for Christmas and they are presently 'living' in my workshop in a cage. "Peep, peep, peep" is what I constantly hear when I go into my shop and see them staring up at me with one eye. Little do they know that they are going to be moving into a Chicken Mansion soon.

It has been a solid week of designing in my head and trying to make that design a tangible piece of reality. I am amazed at people like my brother who can build just about anything without plans. I'm a planner though and the more detailed the better. I have thought of Noah often over this past week. There was Noah at a time when it had never rained and God told him to build an ark because the rains are coming. Build an ark with no plans. I can imagine that those years of building were filled with conversations with God on plan details.

Believe it or not, my chicken coop had some of the same conversations. I couldn't have done it on my own. I have asked God to guide me through something even as mundane as a chicken coop and He has come through.

It has been a good lesson for me in realizing just how much God wants to be part of our lives everyday.

I don't get carried away about resolutions as the new year comes around. I figure that if it is a good goal to work for, you can resolve on any day of the year to start working in that direction. Be that as it may though, I have resolved to take the lessons learned about including God in even the mundane parts of my life. The conversations have been good and they have provided me comfort, strength, guidance and assurance. That is good and I am thankful that I have a God that wants to spend time with me.