Saturday, February 25, 2006

rainy days

Rainy days tend to make me lazy. This happens to be one of those days. I really haven't done anything, and nothing huge is on the agenda. I am justifying it by saying that I have been going and going for the last two weeks non-stop. Every now and then, I need to just be a "bum" with my family. Enjoy the weather in your neck of the woods.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Home again

It is so good to be home again. I have been gone for over a week now. While it was really good to catch up with friends, to learn a ton during Lectureship, and to travel with family, I am glad that we are back in Huntsville.

I think I am going to relax a little tomorrow before getting back into the grind of ministry. I don't think that I will be able to do this completely though, because I really do have a lot of things to do in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Friendly Encouragement

I love it when people go out of their way to encourage me. It just feels good. Some students from my first "official" ministry went out of their way to spend some time with us. They cooked some burgers, fixed some stinkin' awesome desserts, burned some sweet potatoes on the oven elements, talked about their plans after graduation, wrestled, and watched Kayla go all over the place. Oh yeah...they also broke out some cool sparkling cider!!

What a wonderful God we have. Thanks ya'll!

God showed up

God showed up last night! After watching a little girly figure skating, a couple of my best friends and I decided to do something manly...we prayed together. As we were standing there holding hands outside in the driveway and lifting each of our ministries up in prayer, the cool air reminded me of God's presence in our midst. He was there...listening to us and blessing our ministries as we spoke. He showed up. It is a rare moment when I experience the presence of God in a real way, but last night I did. How refreshing it is! Thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Heart Refreshed

Be encouraged! The Lord will refresh your heart. Take the time to sit in his presence. I suggest waking up 15 minutes earlier than normal. During this time with your Lord, ask God to make his presence known to you.

Consider how good your creator is. Consider what he has done in your life. Think on how he has blessed, not you, but those who are closest to you. What is he doing in their life? How has he revealed himself to them? Contemplate the places that God is working in the world. Where has he revealed himself? Can you put your finger on places that God is working? How can you go where he is already working? When are you going to go where God is? How much are you putting yourself in a situation to be used by God?

Let God speak to you as you sit in silence. The time you spend with God just sitting there is not wasted time. It nourishes your relationship. It allows God to actually reveal himself in your heart. Your whole day is changed! Your whole outlook on life is transformed! Your whole usefulness for God is facilitated!

Be encouraged! The Lord will refresh your heart. Take the time to sit in his presence.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

How did I become so mature?

Have you ever looked at your life and noticed that you have done a little growing up in Christ? You tried to pin down an event that did it, but couldn't. It is not like the growth that happened at a Youth Camp one summer or a major life changing event. You can't quite put your finger on what made you grow, but all you know that you were a different person two or three months ago. What is it that brought you to this point?

Every single day of our life we engage ourselves in conversations, we listen to certain radio stations, we go to certain stores, we sit in classes, and we go to work. We do many things in the course of one day. There are those situations that come along where you find yourself talking to someone about God, or something the DJ says makes you think about religion, or you take time to read the Bible one evening and learn something you never knew before.

As we go about the business of living, small choices that we make help us grow. You might look back and say something like, "You know, it was this conversation I had with Janet that really got me to thinking about God more." Or maybe, "My professor really challenged me with a new idea I had never thought of before." Because we have chosen to have that conversation, to go to class that day, a little bit of growth has happened. You probably can't see it at that point, but after a couple of months or even weeks you might notice if you take the time to look. "I've done a little growing up in Christ!"

Think about the small choices that you make today. Choose what is good. Choose what is edifying. Choose what is godly. Growth is happening...even as you chose to read this entry all the way through. Have a wonderful day :-D

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I am excited about tonight's class. It is a good chance for students to get involved in ministry. Then God can accomplish many more things for His glory. If I am the only one doing anything at KFC as the campus minister, then something is wrong. All of us need to utilize the gifts God has given us. Here is your chance. What are you going to do?


I can't wait to see Tanya and Kayla. It is totally different when I am at home by myself. This weekend is going to be a good time for our whole family. We are going to Stillwater, OK for Campus Encounter and then to Abilene for Lectureship and a pre-marital, marital training seminar called Prepare/Enrich.


Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. There is no doubt about it: temptation is waiting around every corner.

I am reminded of Genesis 4:7 "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." God said this to Cain when he became angry because of God's favoring of Able's sacrifice. God wanted Cain to realize that he should continue to strive to do right because he will be accepted.

God accepts us as children of God, but this acceptance does not mean that we are exempt from temptation. We must still do what is right in the midst of temptation. It is a choice that we must make. It is a small choice to resist temptation when it comes. And the temptation will pass. Remember that "when the devil had finished all this tempting (of Jesus), he left him until an opportune time" (Luke 4:13). He will leave.

Be encouraged that, by the power of God, we are able to resist. Be encouraged today that God's presence will guide you through temptation. It will pass. God will again reign in your heart. Amen!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Encourage and Build

Consider the following scripture: "Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up" (1 Thess 5:11). This comes in a context where Christians were wondering why people were dying before Jesus returned. They thought his return would be sooner; they thought he was going to be coming soon to rescue them from the intense opposition they faced daily; they were consumed with the reality of his coming (or lack thereof).

Have you ever been consumed with something? Completely consumed with something? You could not--however hard you tried--get this area in your life out of your mind; it was consuming all your energy, all your thoughts, all your conversations...everything. Maybe some relationship you were in. Maybe some assignment coming up. Maybe your bad grades. Maybe some family drama. Maybe your boss. Maybe the way your friends are treating you. Whatever it was, it consumed who you were.

The Thessalonians were consumed. Paul offered some great words to these people: "encourage one another and build each other up." He knew that if they began to focus on others, their consumption with themselves would diminish. Funny how that happens.

I offer the same advice. We need to focus on encouraging others and building others up if we are consumed with our own situation. You cannot consistently be consumed with yourself if you are solely focused on other people. Try it out today. Give at least two people sincere, edifying encouragement. You must make it a point to do it. See how encouraging others encourages you.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Where to start?

Spend some time to reflect on Psalm 40:5:

"O LORD my God, you have done many miracles for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them."

Read it a few more times slowly; pause the think about each sentence. Let this be a prayer to our Lord, a praise to him. This is what stands out to me this morning: "Your plans for us are too numerous to list." God actually has plans for us. He cares enough to take some time to think about and plan what he wants for us. God is personal; he cares; he loves. The only place to start is with God's love.

Think about the plans that God has for you. Why did he put you here? Why do you have the friends you have? Where is God leading you? When you think about God's plan for you, where do you start? Let it be with God's love.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cleaning Diapers

I may be a freak, but it is not a big deal to me to clean Kayla's diapers. It is just something that I know I am going to be doing. "Shewies" (as we call them) are cool!

Now while I would say this about Kayla's diapers, I would not say the same thing about changing anyone else's baby's diapers. NO WAY!! That is sick! Don't ask me to do that!!

I ask myself why is that? Why am I not so eager to change someone else's baby's diaper? It is because she is mine; Kayla is my little girl; she came from me. There is a connection there that I share with her that allows me to constantly change her diapers, wet ones and "shewies" alike. Other babies don't share that connection.

Now...that is how God looks at us. We are his; we are his little girl and little boy; we came from him, made in his image. He looks at the mess we have made, and longs to clean it up. It is a joy for him to see us clean. And here is the cool thing...when we do it again...he is right here to clean it up...again. This is how God looks at us.

Resolve today to see God as your creator who longs to work with you to make you clean and whole and lovely. He loves you. His image is in you. Thank him today in your prayers for his compassion for you.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Two Lives

A prayer for two lives:

Lord, I pray that you give me wisdom to understand how detestable leading two lives is in your sight. How can we think you don't see us? How can we say within us, "The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob pays no heed" (Psa 94:7)? Why do we think, "I am the exception to 'No one can serve two masters' (Matt 6:24)"? When are we going to realize that our actions are neither hot nor cold, but only lukewarm (Rev 3:15-16)?

Help me, Lord, to make the choice to begin right now leading one life completely dedicated to you, one life consumed with your will, one life that has shed the misdeeds of darkness. It is through Jesus that you have made this possible, this choice to have life that is truly life right now. In Christ Jesus I offer this prayer to you. Amen.