Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Video...

Couldn't think of a better song to post to give a little pep in your step than "Everything Glorious" by David Crowder Band. Find info about their albums and work being done at the previous link. I was one of those that took a while to catch on to the David Crowder music, but absolutely love the words and the way they bring them out in song. If you haven't heard much or even any of their music, I would recommend them highly!!!

The thing about this song in particular is the chorus:
"You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours
What does that make me?"

If you are going through a low point today, just think that even through all that, you were made by the Creator of all things. Knowing that everything He makes is glorious also includes you! Enjoy the song...

I hope you have a great weekend and are getting involved deeply in the work of your local church! Please let me know if there is a special prayer request I can word on your behalf today!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's on your iPod???

I've been fighting with this for quite some time now personally...and the book I've been reading has kind of made me think a bit harder about my "convictions" on the subject of music. You see, for a while, I would only listen to Christian music, regardless whether I was alone, with people or whatever. But, I realize that God doesn't say I have to listen to K-LOVE all the time, right?

Now, I realize that I should avoid the music with lyrics that are questionable, but why can't I enjoy a good song by Coldplay, John Mayer, Gavin DeGraw or someone else? Have you ever faced this battle? I actually caught myself judging someone a while back, because in their "Christian" blog they spoke about a secular song! How dare someone do that, right?

Anyhow, the book that has been occupying my time right now is The Fine Line by Kary Oberbrunner. It talks about us as Christians being called to be in the world but not of the world. Do we too often seclude ourselves so much from the world that we cannot relate to those around us?

I was looking around tangle yesterday when I came across this parody of the Mac/PC commercials talking about the very subject and thought I would share with you.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Do you feel like we are separating ourselves too much as Christians to be able to reach and identify with others? Leave me your thoughts...

And, please let me know if there is a special prayer request I can word on your behalf today!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Give Me Your Eyes"

I think this video is exactly what we should be asking. To see the vision God has for us, we need to see through pure eyes. I love this video by Brandon can check his website out here. You can also find numerous Christian videos at Brandon Heath is also a featured performer in Winter Jam 2009. Looking forward to the concert this Thursday in OKC. For more info on WinterJam 09, click here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Be Thou My Vision!!!

The past few weeks, I have been rather lax in my postings, I realize. Our church has been challenged to seek the "vision" that God would have for the coming ten years...

What a challenge! I have spent countless hours praying not only for the "vision", but also a true unity in that vision corporately. The verse found in Proverbs 29:18 that I alluded to a couple of posts back keeps reverberating in my mind..."Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

I have often kind of meandered through life, as if no care for the future, because I know who holds tomorrow, but if I am not seeking what He has for me am I just wandering aimlessly?

Our meeting with the whole congregation was smooth and unified...praise be to God! Now, we must put those ideas and plans in to action. Pray that we will continue seeking His will for His church! And, I also challenge you to seek what God's vision is for you in the coming days, months and years. Take the challenge and you will be blessed!

Please let me know if you have a special prayer request I can word on your behalf today!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are we waiting for the world to change???

I have been reading through the book The Fine Line by Kary Oberbrunner the last couple nights, which is talking about the line between being in the world and not being of the world. I've had the song "Waiting on the World to Change" by John Mayer stuck in my head for several days and wondered why...well, it fits the way we as Christians sometimes look at the world around us.

I realize the Bible says in Matthew 5:14..."Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." I don't see it telling us to sit idly by and wait for the world to change...we should be a light to the world in these dark days, right?

The song by John Mayer has a few lines that jumped out at me...

"Now we see everything that's going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change"

This, I believe is another call for us to step up and share the Hope we have in Christ Jesus, despite all the goings on in the world, we are blessed. Jeremiah 17:7 states..."Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is." Isn't that the message they need to hear? We are not waiting for the world to change for our lives to become better, our hope is in the Lord.

Share that with someone who needs a boost today! And, please let me know if there is a special prayer request I can word on your behalf today!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

What is your vision???

Yesterday, our services were focused on "The Blessings of Faithfulness". With all the economic upheaval going on, folks seem to be focusing more on what they see as "mine" rather than focusing on what is "God's". Why is it that when we are in dire circumstances that we tend to focus inward? This is a human trait that I know men battle with constantly. We are "fixers" and have a hard time sitting back and waiting for answers, we must "fix it now!"

The problem starts because we see "our" monies not going as far, and think we can make better us of "what we make" than our Lord can. We don't say that, but our actions do! We tend to forget that "what we make" is actually "what He has given"!

Now, the challenge that has been put forth is finding a vision of what God would have us do here at Emmanuel in the coming years. We are praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for what is to come. What programs we need to focus our energies on, what areas need special attention. The world around us is changing and we want God's leadership as we reach out!

A key verse in Proverbs 29:18 states "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

I believe we are at a huge place in the history of the world. If we are to walk the right roads, we must have the "right" goals to be aiming for. Be in prayer with me as we seek God's will for the coming days, weeks, months and years.

I would like to leave you with one of my favorite songs from Casting Crowns "If We Are the Body". Listen to the words and ask if we truly are acting like we should be.

Please let me know if you have a special prayer request I can word on your behalf today!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Praying for You

I know that there are so many people that are going through struggles today with economic and other issues. I found this video over at The Katinas blog and wanted to share it with you today. I hope it encourages you!

If you have something you're struggling with and need prayer, please let me know how I can word it on your behalf!!!

What are we afraid of???

I ran across this video some time back and thought I would share it today. It's a humorous video, but the point isn't. What would it take for us to stand up and share with others? Why are we missing the chance to share the Hope we have with others?

I know there is no "Evangelism Linebacker" following us around, but what if there was? Would we be more likely to share what Christ has done in our lives? I pray that we will all share the Gospel every chance we get. It's not easy, but think of the opportunities we miss out on. Who's to say that someone else will share with them if we don't? Think of that person as an eternal soul...If we don't share with them, how will they know?

Make an effort TODAY to share with those you have opportunity with. We are called, and given the power as it states in Acts 1:8..."But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Jud├Ža, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Let's reach out first in our Jerusalem (your town or even your neighborhood) then our state, country and world. It has to start somewhere, let it begin with us!!!

Please let me know if there is a special prayer request I can word on your behalf!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"For the Tough Times" book review

This is my first review as a part of the Book Review Blogger group I have become a part of through Thomas Nelson publishers. This book is another in a string of well-written books from my personal favorite author, Max Lucado. In our lives, we all go through trials and tribulations, loss of loved ones, unexpected tragedies, etc. This book goes through many of the trials that we might possibly face and offers a Biblical perspective of how we can find hope in these situations.

Have you ever faced a difficult situation and wondered where God was, or how could He let something like this happen to you? Have you ever wondered why God seemed silent when you were looking for answers? What about if your house was destroyed by natural disaster? How could a loving God let His own be hurt like that? Well, these and other situations in life are covered genuinely and confidently in this short book of hope for those who are hurting.

If you have been struggling with questions that seem to have no logical answers, pick up this book and see the hope that God gives. Thanks, Max for another inspiring book! For more information on this book, click here.

Here I Am, Send Me

As we work our way into 2009, a big focus in my life is reaching out to others. But, many times we don't know how to reach out, do we? Sometimes, it can be a random act of kindness, a good deed, a word of encouragement. The key is...sharing the love of God. In my studies, I've been reading from several texts and one thing that jumped out was from "The Purpose Driven Church" by Rick Warren. In chapter 12, the title is "How Jesus Attracted Crowds". One of the points that jumped out at me is that we many times overlook "loving unbelievers the way Jesus did". If we were willing to just show the love of Jesus, wouldn't people be asking what we have that they don't? This video is a simple evangelism illustration I saw last week. Check it out...

Take a step of faith with me...say those words..."Here I Am, Send Me". Will you do what He wants today? Are you willing to show His love to others?

Please let me know if you have a special prayer request I can word on your behalf!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When do you praise???

I had a great time this morning at our Men's Prayer Breakfast. Today, we shared some of our challenges and opportunities to share Christ with others. One of the common grounds we all shared was that everyone is facing struggles. Another commonality among the group was that God is in control, regardless of what we are going through. So, we also thought on the words of Isaiah 55:8, in which God states..."For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."

None of us can even fathom the thoughts of God, yet alone try to make any sense in our finite minds. We just need to take a step back and say..."God, you are in control...I submit to what your plan is in this situation". With that thought in mind, I hope you will enjoy these slides put to the music of "Praise You in This Storm" by Casting Crowns.

Rest assured that no matter what you are going through God has a plan for your life. If we give Him praise no matter the situation, others will see the peace that they are so desperately searching for...remember, you may be the only Jesus some will ever see!

If you want to know how you can have that peace of mind that I am speaking about, please contact me personally by clicking on the About Me link above.

And, please let me know if you have a personal prayer request I can word on your behalf today!!!

Where does the money go?

I found this illustration video well thought out and put together. Have you ever wondered where your tithes and offerings go? This is a great illustration of how far our gifts can truly reach...

Even in these tough financial times, the Word of God is to be spread from our neighborhoods, cities, states, countries and throughout the entire world. If we hold back our gifts and offerings, who are we hindering from hearing the Message?

I challenge each of you to take Malachi 3:10 to heart..."Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

God doesn't qualify His statement by saying only in the good economic times, when the dollar's value is up, or anything else. He simply says bring ALL the tithes...challenge yourself to prove God at His words. We serve a mighty God who can pour out blessings that this world cannot comprehend.

Another passage in Luke 6:38 states..."Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

So, we should be cheerful givers...

I know these times are tight everywhere, but that doesn't mean that we have the right to withhold part of what God has given in the first place, right? I know this is not a popular subject, but thanks for your time. May we be challenged to give with a cheerful spirit, and see what God will do through us in the coming days, months and years.

Let me know if you have a special prayer request I can word on your behalf today!!!