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Pressing On With Precision And Purpose

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (9421)
Hebrews 12:1-2 is a word for those of us who find ourselves in a struggle day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. God would have us to know that we should not be struggling just to be struggling. We should no longer go into each day with the mindset this is another day of struggle, stress, and strife. As children of God we should be able to find some joy, some peace, some happiness in the midst of any given situation or circumstance. As children of God we should not be constantly flailing around in the winds of worry or caught up in the sinking sands of sorrow.  Remember lean not to their own understanding but trust in God with their whole heart. The life to which we have been called to live is not one without challenges, but it is one where regardless of what might come our way the joy of the Lord is our strength.  Jesus tells us in John 16:32-33, “In me ye might have peace. In the world, ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer;  I have overcome the world." It is for this reason that we are able to press on. Not just for the sake of pressing on, but we press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul, from Tarsus; was a trailblazing theologian that we all can relate had to press on with precision and with purpose. He was the one who often times found himself perplexed on every side yet did not give up; the one who counted it all joy when he found himself in various trials and tribulations, the one who reminds us that all things work together for the good of them that love God and are the called according to his purpose. Without pursuance, the challenges in his life would have caused him just to acquiesce to the assaults that life assailed against him. 
The text helps us understand three things that we need to do in order to press on with precision and purpose. We need to hold on to God, hold on to the goal, and hold on to the Holy Ghost. When we replay the seemingly catastrophic climb up Calvary’s hill, we remember the crown of thorns on his head. We remember the cross that was on his shoulder. We remember the jeers of the crowd. Then when he got to the top, there we see them driving the nails in his hands and feet. As he hung between two thieves, they gambled for his clothes beneath. There his mother watched helplessly. Yet Jesus had the strength, Jesus had the divine desire to say Father forgive them for they know not what they do. While we’re pressing on with precision and purpose, what people do to us is inconsequential. People are not our focus and this life is not our goal, but a life of Godliness. So we run this race with patience, we fight the good fight of faith with precision we stay the course. With purpose we turn our eyes toward Jesus. The psalmist put it best in, Psalm 121, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved, he that keepeth thee will not slumber." When the race gets you down, press on. When your hopes are handcuffed and your dreams are deferred, press on. When the headwinds of life slow you down, press on. When life is filled with delay, disruption, and disappointment, press on. Press past the mess and stroll through the stress.  Press on! 

Scripture Of The Day:"...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." - Hebrews 12:1-2

The Story of the Pearl

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM Comments comments (251)
Pearls are a product of pain.  When a grain of sand pierces the shell of an oyster, all the otherwise dormant resources within the tiny oyster respond to the foreign irritant by caring for that sensitive spot. Over time, the sand particle is covered by healing fluids, and the wound becomes a pearl.
That’s true for you, to.  When hardships invade your life, allow God’s Spirit to shape your response.  Don’t be bitter. Don’t rush ahead of His plan.  Rest in Him. Allow Him time to turn that irritation into an opportunity for your growth-and watch a beautiful pearl emerge from your set of painful circumstances.

I am certainly standing on His promises today, what about you!  May God Bless you and yours.

A Word of Wisdom For Parents

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 7:57 PM Comments comments (69)
A Word of Wisdom for Parents

It doesn't matter how wonderfully you parent. As a matter of fact, you're probably a great parent,  But ever parent struggles with issues when interacting with children, especially in this day and age.   The Word of God teaches us that parenting is not without its challenges and offers the following instruction to assist us.  Don't go it alone. The Word of God is a manual to help us and guide us.

Building the Temple

I Chronicles 29:1: Then King David said to the whole assembly: "My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced.  The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God" (NIV). 
David longed to build the Lord's temple, but God chose David's son, Solomon, to build it instead. Imagine how tough it was to relinquish this project to his inexperienced son! David helped make preparations, but recognized the actual construction was Solomon's responsibility.

Sometimes we assume responsibility for tasks that belong to our children. It is hard for us to distinguish between helping and taking over. Their youth and inexperience cause us to lack confidence in their abilities and we intervene by directing, reminding, nagging, or rescuing them from mistakes. It lowers our anxiety, but undermines the lessons they need to grow and mature.

If we wait until they are out of high school to relinquish control, they may be ill-equipped to make responsible decisions. Make your expectations clear, but allow your kids to own age-appropriate tasks—homework, waking up in the morning, remembering supplies—and to experience the consequences of their actions. This is how we prepare them to "build the temple" without us.

Choosing is Power

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (56)
Choosing is Power by Graham Cooke One of the most unpalatable truths that we may ever have to face is the fact that the choices we make and sometimes do not make have a very powerful impact on our life. Choices are always about power. Failure to make the right choice or even not to exercise our options may give that power to someone or something else and leave us feeling weak and ineffective. Choosing the correct decision will open us up to other options of a higher or lower order on that same road. Choice is inescapable, so why not make it a joyful part of living? What if choosing is one of the most important elements in our daily worship of God? To come before the Creator who sees the end from the start and who is capable of making untold billions of decisions everyday. To live joyfully with the One who is so confident in His ability to choose that He can look all of His people in the eye and say, “ I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare not your calamity, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer 29:11) He loves to make choices, so why cannot we love it also? He is dedicated to making everything (in time) work together for our good. Walking with the Holy Spirit is about receiving the power to become good and to do good in the course of everyday living. If we are to be made in His image then the way we go about situations must have the essence of His good humor and the brilliance of His excellent choice. Choices always involve power and we must receive that power in the morning, afternoon and evening of each day. We live our lives today by virtue of the choices we made in prior times. Some of those decisions were easy; some difficult; others seemed almost to make themselves; whilst there were also choices that were so hard they made us pay a price up front that almost sucked the life out of us (life or death issues). Choices can make and ruin our lives. They have a very real substantive control over who we become and how we live. Choices can put us in command of a situation or strip us of our authority to do well. To be powerful or powerless is a choice of identity. There are no victims in the Kingdom, only in the world. No one has us over a barrel but Someone wants to make us influential. We make choices of a greater or lower order each day. Where we live, what we eat, what we wear, store purchases, eating out, etc. are lower order decisions that seem inconsequential but may have implications. Choosing peace, trust, love, laughter, gentleness, calmness, joy, mercy and courage all take us into realms within ourselves that produce power. It is where the image of Jesus first begins to become evident and real. The repercussions are powerful. Choosing anger, fear, anxiety, bitterness and resentment take us backward on our journey or leave us stuck in the present past unable to emotionally overcome the impact of choices either we make or those made against us. Sometimes we make choices to blame others when the reality is that we may have handed over our power to them by accepting their viewpoint. When we hand over the initiative in our own lives we abdicate control in our circumstances. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self control. Bringing our thoughts into a captive state before Jesus is the beginning of self-control. Making calm, joyful, restful choices as a part of our normal intimate relationship with the Lord is the ongoing pursuit of self-control. What if self-control is easier than we imagine? What if choices are less difficult than we suppose? What if the challenge of God’s goodness is the place where all decisions can be made? We are being made in His image. When we choose in fellowship with the Lord, He empowers those decisions and takes upon Himself the responsibility for fulfillment both in the situation and in the creation of His image within each of us. Because of Christ within, we can choose wisely. We can also choose joyfully and calmly. It is time we stopped giving our power away. God gave it to us, it’s part of our fellowship with Him. SCRIPTURE VERSE “ I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare not your calamity, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer 29:11)