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We often don’t see God do great things in our lives because we try to do things in our power, not his. He works best when he has complete control. Our Father is more concerned about our availability than our ability!

We may not see God do great things in our lives because we doubt our ability to accomplish anything significant. It’s about our openness, not our gifted ness. 

We may not see God do great things in our lives because the things we strive to accomplish are intended for our glory not his Kingdom. We are called to build his Kingdom not our name. 

He can use you best when you are open to his working power in your life.

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There are many who try to make a name for themselves. Some focus on money and a good retirement package. Some seek gain from sports or try to live vicariously through their children. Some try new relationships. Success in material things is short-lived at best. Lasting wealth isn’t counted in dollars and cents but in a life of integrity. You can disagree with ones beliefs, but you can’t argue their integrity. Money handed down to your children brings temporary joy but a good name lasts forever.



Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. Isaiah 46:10

Be Still.2.1.16I’m an idea person, but not much on planning. That’s why I rely heavily on people who can think of the details needed for a project. The reason is obvious. Ideas are great. They are the stuff that made this nation great. But not thinking through the details on how to make something happen can be disastrous.

I have a friend who is a drama director at a local high school. I admire his ability to get his young actors and actresses to perform a variety of plays from mysteries to musicals and comedies. The thing I admire most about him though is his attention to detail. He’ll add a line here or there, or have a person move in just a certain way to add emphasis to a scene. His productions are almost always excellent, but even with all his planning and direction, things go wrong. A prop may be forgotten; a cue missed; a technological failure and more can all add up to a less than perfect performance. Sometimes those failures go unnoticed by the audience, other times they are obvious.

So it goes with life. No matter how hard we try to make the perfect meal, write the perfect blog post, present the perfect lesson or sermon, something always seems to go wrong. All of us are much more likely to act with confidence if we can be assured we will succeed at our endeavor. The more confidence we have in the outcome, the more likely we are to move forward.

In Old Testament times, military leaders would often inquire of God as to whether or not they should go to battle against a particular enemy. If God said go, they went with a full assurance that victory would be there’s. If they were told to hold back and make peace, they knew to act wisely in negotiating a peace. The underlying motivation for their actions was knowing God was on their side.

There are many times in each of our lives when we face difficult decisions regarding our relationships, careers, and other events. As believers in the Lord of the universe we can come with confidence to seek his wisdom because we know his plans have always…that’s right ALWAYS come true. The real beauty of that is that he will guide you in the best way and if failure does come, he’ll help you through that too.

PRAYER: Father God, I think one of the things I appreciate the most about you is the fact that I can trust you to do and be exactly what you say. With you by my side I can move confidently knowing you will walk with me through success and failure. Thank you for your guidance through your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.


stonesTell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:7

My aunt died recently and I was given the honor of leading ‘Celebration of Life’ service for this dear, godly woman. As I heard the news about her passing it suddenly occurred to me that my aunt was the youngest child of my grandparents. Each of my grandparent’s three children died in their birth order. More importantly, I thought about the fact that an era had passed.

It doesn’t seem to matter how old you are, when your parents die you feel like an orphan. Whether you are 15 or 50 you wonder, “What will I do now without mom and dad?” Now, my grandparents, parents and aunts and uncles from that side of the family were gone, with only memories to fall back on.

One wonders if the Israelites felt the same way as they crossed the Jordan River and entered the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The stones they gathered from the Jordan River became a memorial to remind them of God’s promises.

The stones the leaders of the 12 tribes gathered that day were far more than rocks. Each of those stones was a story. Stories of being held captive, abused and feeling abandoned by God.  Stories of watching as, one by one, their parents and grandparents died in the wilderness. Stories of fear, confusion, doubt and grief.

As instructed, the leaders took those stones, those stories as it were, and made them into a monument. A monument to remind the Israelites and their children of the struggles in their past. But that pile of rocks meant one more thing that we must remember in our lives. That pile of stories spoke loudly and clearly the message that God delivers on His promises.

There will be times in our life when we are filled with grief, despair, confusion and anger. There will be times in our lives when we are under physical, emotional or spiritual attack. There will be times in our lives when we will feel completely abandoned by God. There will be times in our lives when we feel we have failed so badly that there is no hope.

That’s when each of us must look at those piles of stones and remind ourselves that God delivers on his promises. There was another ‘pile of stones’ that we look to for this reassurance. That ‘pile of stones’ so to speak is called Golgotha. It held the cross of our Lord and Savior and reminds us once again, that God delivers on his promises.

Each of us is building a memorial for those behind us. May we be building stones of remembrance to lead our children and our children’s children to the promises of God’s deliverance through Jesus Christ. May they be able to say about us that in spite of our failures and in spite of our shortcomings, we showed them the path of deliverance.

The ARC and at many other camps and retreat centers offer us the opportunity to ‘come away and rest’ awhile. It’s often during these times of solitude that we are able to step back and reflect on the stories of our own lives and re-energize ourselves to make a difference in the lives of those around us.

What stones [stories] of remembrance are you building for those coming behind you?

PRAYER: Father God. I praise you for the promises you have fulfilled in my lifetime. Forgive me for forgetting to notice the many ways you deliver me daily. Forgive me for the times my lifestyle has been rebellious. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit to be building stones of remembrance that will guide those who follow me to you. In Jesus name, Amen.


They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

Have you ever sat and listened to someone share their passion? I’m not talking about the boring person who goes into a tirade about some issue. I’m talking about the person who is so passionate about something that their words bring life to their topic.

You sit and listen to them and are so enraptured by their words that you lose all track of time. Even if you aren’t personally interested whatever it is they are talking about, their verbal and non-verbal communication mesmerizes you to the point where your entire attitude changes.

I had that once in a small way. A professor I had was so passionate about his class that I left forever changed in my attitude about it. The class? Political Science, believe it or not! I took the class as an elective because it was at the time and day I could attend. I had no interest whatsoever in Political Science. I don’t remember the professor’s name. I don’t even remember what year I took the class. What I do remember is leaving the class with not only a new appreciation for the topic, but even considered running for local office!

Passionate people breed passion in others. It’s no wonder then, that when Jesus appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus he instilled passion in them for God. He talked about Moses. He talked about Elijah and Daniel. He smiled as he reflected on the life of David. And why not? He walked with those men. He watched them grow in faith. He felt the pain of their failure and rejoiced in their victories. When Jesus talked about these men, he wasn’t just talking about stories. He was talking about friends of his.

I imagine when Jesus talks about us he is just as passionate. Sure, we fail. Some of us fail miserably. We rebel almost daily. We worry when he says don’t worry. We get angry when he says trust. We get lonely when he says he is with us always. While we grumble and live in defeat he looks on us with pride and, yep, you guessed it, PASSION.

If you didn’t know me and Jesus was talking to you about me, once he was finished talking you’d be passionate about me. Why? Not because I’m something special in your eyes, but because I’m something special in Jesus’ eyes. When you’ve been with Jesus you can’t help but feel passionate about life.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for being passionate about me. I confess to you that I don’t feel like I’m much to be passionate about. But I’m thankful that you love me so much. I ask that you would empower me to be so passionate about you that my passion will breed passion for you in those I meet. In your name, Amen.

 

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