Nov 10, 2015 - Prayer, Spiritual Growth    7 Comments

THE CHURCH

King David, a man after God’s own heart, wanted to build a house for the name of The Lord.  It was David’s relationship with God, that stirred him in the first place to even desire taking on such a great task.  King David was a man who grew closer and closer to God.  His desire was to never excluded God from his plans.  The Lord was the spark that ignited King David’s heart, a spark that continued on with his son Solomon.

As you read these words of a father speaking with his son, I hope David’s words jumped off the pages at you as they did for me when I read them.

1 Chronicles 22:5-13

David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death.

Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God.  But this word of the Lord came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign.  He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father.  And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’

“Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would.   May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.  Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.

How often do you take the time to give God thanks for the people he has placed in your life to bless you?  Have you truly listened to the prayers of those who have prayed for you.  How did it make you feel?

The answer to these questions, only you know.  Do yourself a favor and take a moment to think about these question and answer them truthfully.  I did and was amazed by how God moves in our midst though prayer, people, and even total strangers at times.

David didn’t allow disappointment to set in and fuel his emotions. When God told him that he wouldn’t be the one to build a house for his name, he accepted and planned for his son’s future.  David aligned himself with the will of God concerning a temple that would bear God’s name.

ARE YOU FUELED BY EMOTIONS?

Are you allowing your emotions to drive you everywhere but to your knees?  Or where God wants you to be?  STOP IT, prayer is our life line to Jesus.  The Bible tells us the house of the Lord is called a house of prayer.  Hear Solomon’s conversation about God. See how he’s encouraging the congregation of believers.

1 Kings 8:27-30

But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!  Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.  May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

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WHAT DO YOU SEE?

If you see the church and people standing outside of the church, you have agreed with ninety percent on the people I have asked this question.  You should see their faces when I ask, “The people are the church, aren’t they?”  The point that I am making here is that God’s people have become so focused on the BUILDING that bears God’s name that they identify with the building more then each other.  I have myself been duped by satan’s trick.  There have been times that my family and I have been driving to go to worship with the saints on a Sunday and somehow me and my wife got into a heated fellowship- translation – ARGUMENT.  No sooner we pull into the parking lot everybody in the car is instructed to be on their best behavior because we are about to go into church.  But aren’t we the church?  I am sure none of you have been there, RIGHT!

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LEADERS LEAD FROM THE FRONT

Have you ever, all of a sudden, come to an awakening in your life? Well I have!  It was the strangest thing.  This awakening literally caused me to become overwhelmed.

It all started while on a motorcycle ride with my brother and a good friend of ours.  About a month ago, we all met in the driveway of my home.  My brother and I had already taken our motorcycles out of my garage and parked them in the driveway while we waited for our friend to arrive.  Once our friend showed up, we were set to ride but none of us had decided on a route to take.  Usually I am the one that takes the lead and picks the route. I decided this time it would be different, at least that’s what I thought.  So I said, “I’ll follow you guys this time, lead the way.”  “No! That’s alright,” they both said,  “we’ll follow you, you lead the way.”  I had no idea what route to take and I thought where could we ride that would be somewhat scenic, with some challenging winding roads and not a lot of traffic …

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LEADERS NEED EFFECTIVE FOLLOWERS

Off we went with me taking the lead.  I thought to myself, why do I always end up taking the lead.  It would be nice if I was the one doing the following, not being responsible for others or having to decide which way to go.  Don’t get me wrong, these men are fully capable of making decisions.  In fact, I have counted on their wisdom many of times.

As we set out on the road, I began having a conversation in my head about leading and following.  It was then that I realized that these men had chosen me to lead them, not because they were incapable, but out of respect, trust and love.  You see I had taught both these men how to ride the motorcycles they were on.

I couldn’t believe that I was having this conversation going on inside my head as I am riding a motorcycle down route 31 towards Macedon.  Time went by fast, before I realized it, it’s now pitch black, and we’re traveling on a road without any lighting.  I could see both their motorcycles head lights in my rearview mirror.  Then it dawn on me, I had missed my turn.  I looked back and could still see my brother and friend’s headlights leaning and winding with each turn in the road.  I’m lost I said to myself.  “I should pull over,” a small still voice spoke.  Then my PRIDE kicked into overdrive.  What will they think of you if tell them that you are lost … some leader you are?  Keep going until you see something familiar, spoke the voice of PRIDE, but the further I went the more lost I was.

THE PRESSURES OF LEADERSHIP

The role of a leader is one of great honor and I believe that all leaders know this.  But a leader’s biggest enemy is his or her own PRIDE.  Pride is usually a self inflicted wound that runs deep into the heart if not the very souls of its victims.  It would be one thing if ones PRIDE only wounded the person with it, but instead PRIDE hurts everything in its path. Don’t confuse PRIDE with being PLEASED or FULFILLED with  ones accomplishments.  Just remember no one accomplishes anything without the help of others.

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Sep 5, 2015 - Hearing From God, Prayer    2 Comments

SHAKEN AND STIRRED

You and I can be shaken by a special event or an occasion, but never stirred to make a difference or any changes in our life or the lives of others.  I am reminded of the James Bond movies I use to go see as a child growing up.  In case you are not familiar with the James Bond movies, they were about secret agents whose job it was to protect and secure the British Government and its people.  James Bond, also code name Agent 007, would always say these words whenever he was ordering his favorite drink, “I like my Martini shaken, but not stirred.”  This saying always stuck with me for whatever reason.  When I think about this, even now, I am somewhat amazed at the things that I allow to impress me.

Somehow I got thinking about this phrase shaken but not stirred and began to meditate on it.  One night while out to dinner I asked my wife Amy what she thought about it.  Amy gave me a great IMG_0834illustration of the difference between the two.  She took two water glasses from the table, one glass had only ice in it and the other glass had ice and water.  Amy took the glass with just ice in it and shook it hard.  What I noticed was it made a lot of noise but once she stopped shaking the glass everything stopped … no more noise and no more movement. Then Amy stirred the glass with the ice water.  There was little or no noise but when Amy stopped stirring the water and the ice continued its motion.  My point is that often being shaken will get your attention and often the attention of others.  But once the excitement wanes, then what?

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