Thursday, June 30, 2005

Magic of Childhood

Mark10:13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch them and bless them, but the disciples told them not to bother him. 14 But when Jesus saw what was happening, he was very displeased with his disciples. He said to them, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 I assure you, anyone who doesn't have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God." 16 Then he took the children into his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"

We have been at an amusement park this week with my wife and girls. I love watching their incredible ecitement and joy! They get so excited they can't sit still. That is the magic of childhood- an excitement about life! They are eager and innocent- they look to me to provide and just enjoy the moments!
One morning, my youngest flew over and hugged me- Thanks Dad!- it made me a mile high!

Father- I just wish I could give You a moment like that!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

REST

Mark 6:31 "Then Jesus said, "Let's get away from the crowds for a while and rest."

We are coming up on a 2 week period in TN called the Dead Period- no contact with players. I will use this time for some needed rest!

Thank you Lord for apace in life- for weariness and renewal!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"The Moment You Began Praying"

Daniel 9:"17 "O our God, hear your servant's prayer! Listen as I plead. For your own sake, Lord, smile again on your desolate sanctuary. 18 "O my God, listen to me and hear my request. Open your eyes and see our wretchedness. See how your city lies in ruins – for everyone knows that it is yours. We do not ask because we deserve help, but because you are so merciful. 19 "O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, O my God, do not delay, for your people and your city bear your name."

20 I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sins of my people, pleading with the LORD my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain. 21 As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He explained to me, "Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. 23 The moment you began praying, a command was given. I am here to tell you what it was, for God loves you very much."


What a great passage to encourage prayer!
Daniel's prayer was persistent
Daniel's prayer was penitent

Daniel prayed for God to see,hear,forgive,act- and do it without delay
It was based not on the people deserving this act, but on the good name of God- "Your people bear Your name"

Smile again on us O Lord

Monday, June 20, 2005

An Inspirational Song

Man Of The Tombs - Bob Bennett

Man of the tombs
He lives in a place where no one goes
And he tears at himself
And lives with a pain that no one knows
He counts himself dead among the living
He knows no mercy and no forgiving
Deep in the night he's driven to cry out loud
Can you hear him cry out loud?

Man of the tombs
Possessed by an unseen enemy
He breaks every chain
And mistakes his freedom for being free
Shame and shamelessness equally there
Like a random toss of a coin in the air
Man of the tombs, he's driven to cry out loud

   Underneath this thing that I've become
   A fading memory of flesh and blood
   I curse the womb, I bless the grave
   I've lost my heart, I cannot be saved
   Like those who fear me, I'm afraid
   Like those I've hurt, I can feel pain
   Naked now before my sin
   And these stones that cut against my skin
   Some try to touch me, but no one can
   For man of the tombs I am

Down at the shoreline
Two sets of footprints meet
One voice is screaming
Other voice begins to speak
In only a moment and only a word
The evil departs like a thundering herd
Man of the tombs, he hears this cry out loud

   Underneath this thing that you've become
   I see a man of flesh and blood
   I give you life beyond the grave
   I heal your heart, I come to save
   No need to fear, be not afraid
   This Man of sorrows knows your pain
   I come to take away your sin
   And bear it's marks upon My skin
   When no one can touch you, still I can
   For Son of God I am

Dressed now and seated
Clean in spirit and healthy of mind
Man of the tombs
He begs to follow, but must stay behind
He'll return to has family with stories to tell
Of mercy and madness, of heaven and hell
Man of the tombs, soon he will cry out loud

   Underneath this thing that I once was
   Now I'm a man of flesh and blood
   I have a life beyond the grave
   I found my heart, I can now be saved
   No need to fear, I am not afraid
   This Man of sorrows took my pain
   He comes to take away our sin
   And bear it's marks upon His skin
   I'm telling you this story because
   Man of the tombs I was

A Court Day is Set

Daniel 7:9 "9 I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like whitest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, 10 and a river of fire flowed from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him, and a hundred million stood to attend him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened."

The supernatural world is real and in operation. Our secular society is so blinded by the enlightenment that we ignore the ancient words of truth. God is King and He is preparing to judge the nations. Are we ready?

My only hope is my Advocate- the Lord Jesus will represent me and offer His life as my atonement. He has ransomed me by His blood. I will be declared justified in the heavenly courts because of the power of the authority of my Savior.

Wow- what a glorious salvation!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

God's Complete Protection and Victory

4 Then the other administrators and princes began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling his affairs, but they couldn't find anything to criticize. He was faithful and honest and always responsible. 5 So they concluded, "Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the requirements of his religion."

6 So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, "May your God, whom you worship continually, rescue you."

25 Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: "Peace and prosperity to you! 26 "I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. 27 He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions." 28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Throughout history, God protects, defends, allows testing, then shows off- all for His glory!

Sin, Shame, and Redemption

II Samuel 11:27 b "But the LORD was very displeased with what David had done."

II Samuel 12: "7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are that man! The LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. 8 I gave you his house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. 9 Why, then, have you despised the word of the LORD and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah and stolen his wife. 10 From this time on, the sword will be a constant threat to your family, because you have despised me by taking Uriah's wife to be your own. 11 "'Because of what you have done, I, the LORD, will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12 You did it secretly, but I will do this to you openly in the sight of all Israel.'" 13 Then David confessed to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD."Nathan replied, "Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won't die for this sin. 14 But you have given the enemies of the LORD great opportunity to despise and blaspheme him, so your child will die."

19 But when David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. "Is the baby dead?" he asked."Yes," they replied. 20 Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the LORD. After that, he returned to the palace and ate. 21 His advisers were amazed. "We don't understand you," they told him. "While the baby was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the baby is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again." 22 David replied, "I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, 'Perhaps the LORD will be gracious to me and let the child live.' 23 But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me."

24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved the child 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet that his name should be Jedidiah – "beloved of the LORD" – because the LORD loved him."

Sin kills and destroys
Sin has consequences
Disobedience is punished
God's forgiveness is complete

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Last Few Days of Reading

II Sam 7:11 "'And now the LORD declares that he will build a house for you – a dynasty of kings! 12 For when you die, I will raise up one of your descendants, and I will make his kingdom strong. 13 He is the one who will build a house – a temple – for my name. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. If he sins, I will use other nations to punish him. 15 But my unfailing love will not be taken from him as I took it from Saul, whom I removed before you. 16 Your dynasty and your kingdom will continue for all time before me, and your throne will be secure forever.'"

That passage about Saul and God pulling His spirit from him really shook me up. What a terrible curse- here is a promise to David to not withdraw His spirit from his descendant- an implication that Solomon was spared when he drifted through foreign wives. I hold to this as a promise as a spiritual descendant of David!

This was another example of how the LORD made David victorious wherever he went.II Sam 8:14. Father, I desire Your victory- in all of life!

Daniel 4:37 "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble those who are proud.- God's praise rings out through all of history!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Voice of Praise

Daniel 2:"Then Daniel praised the God of heaven, 20 saying, "Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and power. 21 He determines the course of world events; he removes kings and sets others on the throne. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. 22 He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he himself is surrounded by light. 23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength."

This morning, I hear many praises to God. My parakeet is chirping to the glory of God. I hear Christiam music echoing glory to God. I read Daniel's praise and my heart is stirred.

Thank you My God for mountains of blessings! They are too numerous to count!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Do it Right

I Sam 26"6  7 So David and Abishai went right into Saul's camp and found him asleep, with his spear stuck in the ground beside his head. Abner and the warriors were lying asleep around him. 8 "God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!" Abishai whispered to David. "Let me thrust that spear through him. I'll pin him to the ground, and I won't need to strike twice!" 9 "No!" David said. "Don't kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the LORD's anointed one? 10 Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die in battle or of old age. 11 But the LORD forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But I'll tell you what – we'll take his spear and his jug of water and then get out of here!" 12 So David took the spear and jug of water that were near Saul's head. Then he and Abishai got away without anyone seeing them or even waking up, because the LORD had put Saul's men into a deep sleep.

13 David climbed the hill opposite the camp until he was at a safe distance. 14 Then he shouted down to Abner and Saul, "Wake up, Abner!""Who is it?" Abner demanded. 15 "Well, Abner, you're a great man, aren't you?" David taunted. "Where in all Israel is there anyone as mighty? So why haven't you guarded your master the king when someone came to kill him? 16 This isn't good at all! I swear by the LORD that you and your men deserve to die, because you failed to protect your master, the LORD's anointed! Look around! Where are the king's spear and the jug of water that were beside his head?" 17 Saul recognized David's voice and called out, "Is that you, my son David?"And David replied, "Yes, my lord the king. 18 Why are you chasing me? What have I done? What is my crime? 19 But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the LORD has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the LORD. For you have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the LORD's people and worship as I should. 20 Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the LORD? Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Why does he hunt me down like a partridge on the mountains?"

21 Then Saul confessed, "I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong." 22 "Here is your spear, O king," David replied. "Let one of your young men come over and get it. 23 The LORD gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the LORD placed you in my power, for you are the LORD's anointed one. 24 Now may the LORD value my life, even as I have valued yours today. May he rescue me from all my troubles." 25 And Saul said to David, "Blessings on you, my son David. You will do heroic deeds and be a great conqueror." Then David went away, and Saul returned home."

David had remarkable courage- going right into Saul's camp. He had opportunity and a good excuse. He was even getting counsel to do the deed.

But David chose right this time and God blessed him. Saul proclaimed that he would do heroic deeds and have great victories.

Lord- I want to honor You and have great victories for You!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

What I Said to My Team

We had a coach yesterday announce he is going to another school. I wanted to keep a log of what I said to some hurting young men.

1- It is OK to hurt- it is how you respond to the pain that is important
2- We pray for this coach, accept his decision as God's will
3- It does not create anger toward the school that hired him
4- You never know what will turn out to be a blessing
5- Get up, dust off, and get back to work

We closed in prayer- and got back to work

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

God's Part- My Part

I Sam 28:14 "David now stayed in the strongholds of the wilderness and in the hill country of Ziph. Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn't let him be found."

I have really enjoyed I Sam.- a strange and fascinating book! David was shrewd and courageous. He was a warrior, but also a man of compassion.

As Saul was seeking to destroy him, David had to work at hiding- He had to plan and gave great effort to avoid Saul. But God was the one doing the protecting.

We work as if it all depends on us- we pray and trust like it all depends on God.

I was talking to my mechanic, Andy, about the world and its troubles. I said, "we really need to pray."
He said, "We better do more than pray."

And Andy was right!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Is Your God Big Enough?

Rom. 11:33 "Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! 34 For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor? 35 And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back? 36 For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen."

The God of the Bible has incredible attributes:
He owns all
He is eternally wise
He is sovereign and in control
He is above our human frailties
He has sacrificed for us- His own Son

Everything is held together by Him and everything gives Him glory.

One day, he will end history- and we will see that everything was ordained to glorify Him!

I want my salvation to bring Him this glory.

To my readers- you will glorify HIm- either as objects of salvation or objects of wrath. Please turn your heart to Him today!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Victory Laps of Praise

The verses this morning were so encouraging- and I needed them!

"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death." Romans 8:1,2

I sin so much. I read in the OT where God will cut off someone and remove His spirit from them. It happened to Saul. I don't want to live in disobedience and am so thankful for grace. I want more of Your Spirit- pour it out on our land!

"28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."

This verse is so key for me. When I am disappointed, I trust in Him! He knows what He is about. History is his story. He holds me firmly and His plan is victory!

"despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us." WoW! A great promise!

"47 And everyone will know that the LORD does not need weapons to rescue his people. It is his battle, not ours. The LORD will give you to us! I Sam 17" Lord- You are my only hope!


"5 I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62"

When the world seems to line up against me- when news seems disappointing- when momentum seems stalled- I sit here Lord...the victory is Yours- I wait for YOU!