Monday, August 29, 2005

Big Week- Pressure's ON

We have a big rival this week and desperately need a win. It is a TV game, a region game, a big,big game.

I already feel it and it is just Monday morning. I will not sleep much this week. I have the plays flicker in my brain. My wife will tell me she talked to me, but I did not even register.

Physically, I feel a little nauseus after eating and I get muscle tension in my back. I got up and ran this morning, it does help.

We can beat this team, I just hope my players believe they can.

I have scheduled a good week of practice and we will have a good plan- hurricane Katrina will interrupt us at some point.

This is where I really depend on my Savior, He will carry me through.

Sometimes I wonder if this is worth it- but this is the nature of competition- preparations for battle.

I heard a sad quote yesterday- "God is just an imaginary friend for grown-ups". He will show-up one day and the non-believers will be filled with awe. How about today, Lord?

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Significant Insignificance

Help from: Malcolm Muggeridge on 'Is There a God?"

"What living God? A being with whom one has a relationship, on the one hand, inconceivably more personal than the most intimate human one, to the point that, as we are told, God has actually counted the hairs of each head; on the other, so remote that in order to establish a valid relationship at all, it is necessary to die, to murder one's own flesh with the utmost ferocity, and batter down one's ego as one might a deadly snake, a cobra which has lifted its hooded head with darting forked tongue, to sting."

It is interesting that God can be so close, but entering into that relationship is so costly. How costly? Look at the cross.

"What can be said with certainty is that, once the confrontation (no longer hiding from God) has been experienced—the rocky summit climbed, the interminable desert crossed—an unimaginably delectable vista presents itself, so vast, so luminous, so enchanting, that the small ecstasies of human love, and the small satisfactions of human achievement, by comparison pale into insignificance. Out of tactical despair comes an overwhelming strategic happiness, enfolded in which one is made aware that every aspect of the universe, from a tiny grain of sand to the light-years which measure its immeasurable dimensions, from the minutes" single living cell to the most complex human organism, are ultimately related, all deserving of reverence and respect; all shining, like glow-worms, with an intrinsic light, and, at the same time, caught in an all-encompassing radiance, like dust in a sunbeam."

The greatest irony is that what I do is so insignificant. Is there anything more forgettable than a football game? But it is a significant insignificance because my God is there. He uses every block and tackle to forge stories and characrer for His glory. Lord, just help me to walk faithfully, especially when times are tough.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Warriors in Training

Zech. 10 "6 "I will strengthen Judah and save Israel ; I will reestablish them because I love them. It will be as though I had never rejected them, for I am the LORD their God, who will hear their cries. 7 The people of Israel will become like mighty warriors, and their hearts will be happy as if by wine. Their children, too, will see it all and be glad; their hearts will rejoice in the LORD. 8 When I whistle to them, they will come running, for I have redeemed them."

As a football coach, I am trying to instill a "fighting spirit" to compete- it is not seen much today. We cannot allow ourselves to become so soft that we are not willing to stand and fight for what is right. We are in a war vs. Satan, the world, and our flesh. We need to become tougher and resist with passion.

Christ's love constrains us, His law gives us the proper boundaries, but within that is still the need to fight. Remember His actions in the temple vs. the money changers.

When we experience the peace of Christ and are restored to God, and fight for Him- our hearts become truly happy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Take Heart and Finish

Zech. 8: 1 Then another message came to me from the LORD Almighty: 2 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: My love for Mount Zion is passionate and strong; I am consumed with passion for Jerusalem! 3 And now the LORD says: I am returning to Mount Zion, and I will live in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City; the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain. 4 This is what the LORD Almighty says: Once again old men and women will walk Jerusalem's streets with a cane and sit together in the city squares. 5 And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls at play. 6 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: All this may seem impossible to you now, a small and discouraged remnant of God's people. But do you think this is impossible for me, the LORD Almighty? 7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: You can be sure that I will rescue my people from the east and from the west. 8 I will bring them home again to live safely in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be faithful and just toward them as their God.

9 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: Take heart and finish the task!

The promises of God are sure. I love the truths of this passage. God's love is passionate and strong! He has promised to live in Jerusalem. I believe this to be a promise for the new heaven and earth that will be installed at Christ's 2nd coming.
God wants streets where children play and the elderly are safe.

The present however seems discouraging.. the small remnant. But God is in the business of doing the impossible.

Until then, I need to take heart and fight for the cause of my KING!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Cure for a Downcast Soul

I Chronicles 16:8 Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. 9 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his miracles. 10 Exult in his holy name; O worshipers of the LORD, rejoice! 11 Search for the LORD and for his strength, and keep on searching. 12 Think of the wonderful works he has done, the miracles, and the judgments he handed down, 13 O children of Israel, God's servant, O descendants of Jacob, God's chosen one. 14 He is the LORD our God. His rule is seen throughout the land. 15 He always stands by his covenant – the commitment he made to a thousand generations.

We lost 36-9 last night. It was the worst loss I have suffered since 1994. I am supposed to be an offensive coach, and we shot nothing but blanks. Our Qb's went 9-39 for 90 yds and 3 INTs- 2 of which were returned for TD's. It hurts.

Then this was my Bible reading this morning. How could I not sing praises to my King? I do give thanks to Him. I will tell of His miracles. I will continue to search for Him for His strength. I will think of the wonderful works he has done.

He always keeps His promises...and they are so good!

talk about a pick me up......Amen

Monday, August 15, 2005

Coming Up Short?

Haggai 1:3 So the LORD sent this message through the prophet Haggai: 4 "Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? 5 This is what the LORD Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you! 6 You have planted much but harvested little. You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! 7 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you! 8 Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the LORD. 9 You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because my house lies in ruins, says the LORD Almighty, while you are all busy building your own fine houses. 10 That is why the heavens have withheld the dew and the earth has withheld its crops. 11 I have called for a drought on your fields and hills – a drought to wither the grain and grapes and olives and all your other crops, a drought to starve both you and your cattle and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get."

In our land of opportunity and prosperity, depression is at an all-time high. We are busier than ever and have more toys and leisure than any previous generation. But we are drifting from God. We must rebuild the church.

It is not about attendance- it is about content. We must preach and live the truth!

13 Then Haggai, the LORD's messenger, gave the people this message from the LORD: "I am with you, says the LORD!"

4 But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the LORD. Take courage, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Take courage, all you people still left in the land, says the LORD. Take courage and work, for I am with you, says the LORD Almighty. 5 My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid. 6 "For this is what the LORD Almighty says: In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth. I will shake the oceans and the dry land, too. 7 I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will come to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory, says the LORD Almighty. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD Almighty. 9 The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the LORD Almighty. And in this place I will bring peace. I, the LORD Almighty, have spoken!"

God will keep His promises- Oh Father, please send the spark of revival again or better yet- please come back pronto!

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Most Important Piece of Jabez's Prayer

II Chronicles 4:9 There was a man named Jabez who was more distinguished than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. 10 He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and extend my lands! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!" And God granted him his request.

This verse led to a huge best seller- "The Prayer of Jabez"- and it is a wonderful verse. Scripture encourages us to seek the Lord and wrestle with Him in prayer. And Jabez did pray a good prayer.

The most important piece is, however, "God granted".

What if God said. "NO". He has the right to say, "Jabez, for my glory I will not extend your land, I will not relent in trouble or pain."

The thing I love is that I bet Jabez would say, "I am Yours O Lord- do as You wish."

Our blessing and reward will primarily be after this life. He blesses us even now. Grace allows us to breathe and live.

God loves us- and sometimes that love hurts. But it is for our good and His glory!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Help When I am Low

Micah 7:1 What misery is mine! I feel like the fruit picker after the harvest who can find nothing to eat. Not a cluster of grapes or a single fig can be found to satisfy my hunger. 2 The godly people have all disappeared; not one fair-minded person is left on the earth.

7 As for me, I look to the LORD for his help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. 8 Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD himself will be my light. 9 I will be patient as the LORD punishes me, for I have sinned against him. But after that, he will take up my case and punish my enemies for all the evil they have done to me. The LORD will bring me out of my darkness into the light, and I will see his righteousness. 10 Then my enemies will see that the LORD is on my side.

14 O LORD, come and rule your people; lead your flock in green pastures. Help them to live in peace and prosperity.

18 Where is another God like you, who pardons the sins of the survivors among his people? You cannot stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing mercy. 19 Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! 20 You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love as you promised with an oath to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.

Lord, thank you for lifting me up today- I trust in You- put my enemies-the world, my flesh, and the devil to shame.

My Hero- Hezekiah

2 Kings 18:"1 Hezekiah son of Ahaz began to rule over Judah in the third year of King Hoshea's reign in Israel. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what was pleasing in the LORD's sight, just as his ancestor David had done. 4 He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and knocked down the Asherah poles. He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had begun to worship it by burning incense to it. The bronze serpent was called Nehushtan. 5 Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was never another king like him in the land of Judah, either before or after his time. 6 He remained faithful to the LORD in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the LORD had given Moses. 7 So the LORD was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did."

I want to be like this!

Doing what is pleasing in God's sight- notice the action and the motive

Removing idols and turning hearts toward God- toughness and intentionality

Trusting in God- inner peace and strength

Remained faithful- remaining- a focus on persevering a long time

Carefully obeying- study-introspection- commitment to change

God was with him and he had success in everything

What a resume!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Triumphant Procession

II Corin. 2:14 "But thanks be to God, who made us his captives and leads us along in Christ's triumphal procession. Now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume. 15 Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God."

Micah 5:4 " 4 And he (the Ruler from Bethlehem- Jesus) will stand to lead his flock with the LORD's strength, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored all around the world. 5 And he will be the source of our peace."

7 "Then the few left in Israel will go out among the nations. They will be like dew sent by the LORD or like rain falling on the grass, which no one can hold back. 8 The remnant of Israel will go out among the nations and be as strong as a lion. And the other nations will be like helpless sheep, with no one to rescue them. 9 The people of Israel will stand up to their foes, and all their enemies will be wiped out."