Archive for May, 2016

Sunday, I was in my office early. I had not slept well through the night – waking up almost hourly with the sermon on my mind and heart. Each time I awoke, I would begin to pray for God to speak into me and then speak through me the next morning.

It is not that I had not prepared for the sermon. Truth be told, I had more information in my notes than with many sermons. I felt my points were clear and the content consistent with the text. So I couldn’t understand the anxiety. Even now, two days later, I am not sure what was going on.

I would like to say that through the worship experience, people were moved to action. I wish I could write about how God used my turning to him to really make a difference in the hearts of his people.

I trust God moved in the hearts of the people, but I didn’t see an overwhelming display. But this experience has reminded me of an important truth – it is never about me. I can put hours into a sermon and feel good about how it will go but what I have to remember is that my role is not to invoke some kind of response. The point of the sermon is never to manipulate.

My role is to be faithful and trust completely in the Father. My calling is to work hard during the week and go to the pulpit with my absolute best each and every Sunday. Then I must trust God to take it from there.

Remember today that God wants your best – the very best you can do – and leave the outcome to him.

Be your best today!

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Simple But Deep

In my reading this morning in Galatians 4, I was reminded of a very simple but overwhelmingly deep truth. This truth brought me to my spiritual knees. It is not that prior to this morning I had not thought about it. But I tend to allow my world to get so busy that I neglect the simple truths that give this life meaning.
So this morning, as I placed pause in my schedule to meet God, God reminded me of this profound thought. 
Before you shake your head and shrug your shoulders with the thought that “this guy should expand his repitoiour of what is important,” let that simple truth sink in.
This life is not random chaos – chaos maybe – but not random. You are not part of a massive number of creatures moving through time and space with no purpose or meaning.
The very creator of all you see and know (and beyond) KNOWS YOU!
The God of the universe cares about you – yes you personally.
This very thought should stop us in our tracks.

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This summer I have two occasions to lead a special worship service in Spanish.

I will be the first to admit that I struggle enough in English that to think I could lead a service in another language is a little daunting.  But using a translator, I think, will detract from the impact.  So I have had a dear friend working to translate my manuscript into Spanish so that I can read it in the heart language of the people in the service.
Words-2Yesterday, my friend called to ask a few questions.  As she was working through the document, she ran across a couple of places that she wanted to be clear on my intent and meaning so that she could translate the statements to communicate my heart.  We talked through it so that I could explain my heart and thoughts.  Once the images became clear, words were not a problem for her.

I have been reminded through this exercise that words are important.  But they derive their importance from the message they are intended to convey.  Words are the vehicles we use to communicate what is in our hearts and minds.

So we should choose our words carefully.  Our words can build up or they can tear down.  So make the most of your words.  Make sure the words you choose to use today are a true reflection of your heart.

Use your words for good – to lift, to comfort, to encourage.

Be a blessing today!

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Do you ever feel alone?  Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt completely abandoned?  Or maybe you have reached a point you think no one could ever fully understand all that you are going through.

Perhaps you are in that place today.

We started a new series this past Sunday on the Beatitudes – a portion of the greatest sermon ever preached – found in Matthew 5.  This week we will be talking about those who mourn.  Jesus made the statement that those who mourn are blessed.  At first glance, you might say, “Huh?”  How does that even make sense?

Jesus finished this statement with a promise that makes all the difference.  He said, “Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted.”  I think we get so disoriented with his statement that we often miss the promise.

But when we focus on the promise, we see overwhelming compassion.

The reality of life is that we will all mourn at times.  We will have those seasons where we feel no one understands – no one could possibly comprehend the pain and loneliness we feel.

Jesus’ promise reminds us that the God who knows the number of hairs on your head – cares for you.  Don’t misunderstand – God does not exist to make your life easier.  But God does promise that you are never alone and that he is fully aware of your struggles.

God’s compassion is what will get you through whatever you face today!

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