Thankful

23 11 2011

Thankfulness is easily caught; it’s contagious. Spend a few minutes around someone who speaks from a thankful heart about what God is doing in their life and you’ll find yourself feeling thankful as well. Spend that same amount of time around someone caught up in themselves and speaking disappointment with what God hasn’t done and you’ll find feelings of disappointment and despair.

Thankfulness is less stressful. Having a thankful heart is experiencing a lighter heart. Being thankful resonates with our souls and brings relief to our physical beings. If laughter is a “good medicine” think about what medicine thankfulness provides to your spirit.

Thankfulness is an absence of contention. It’s hard to be angry and causing friction when you are practicing a spirit of thankfulness. Expressing thankfulness for the normal everyday things of life is seeing those things as important too. For those who are involved in generating those “normal, everyday and routine” acts of service that effect you, it is amazing what a word of thanks will do to encourage them. Who cleans your office at work? Thank them. Who does your wash each week? Thank them. Who washes and maintains your car? Thank them. Thankfulness is the spirit of Christ Himself. When we are thankful, we are actually worshipping God. “…Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably…” (Hebrews 12: 28)

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace…his peace will guard your hearts and minds…” (Philippians 4:6)





Boy Meets Girl

21 11 2011

In 1947, for every 100 female college students there were 245 male students on campus.  Now for every 100 women on college campuses there are 74 male students.  In the book, Premarital Sex in America authors Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker found that three-fourths of 18 to 23 year-old women are in dating relationships and that 94% of those are sexually involved.  Girls who are involved with multiple sexual relationships through their dating years are 11 times more likely to have elevated depression symptoms than virgins.  Those involved in “one night stands” also feel disrespected.  Guys are in control of when the dating relationship begins and the girls are in control of when sex begins.  Regnerus and Uecker found that when women compete for men, men win and the price of sex goes down.  (World Magazine June 2011)

Wake up single men of God.  Your heavenly Father’s daughters do not desire sex outside of marriage, but what they do desire is your attention, your commitment, your care, your encouragement, your emotional and spiritual connection, your godly manhood and your pure love.  Take a lesson from an Old Testament saint who was tried and found righteous, “I made a covenant with my eyes to not look lustfully at a girl.”  (Job 31:1)  And from Paul, “For the grace of God…teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” (Titus 2: 11, 12)

Wake up single women of God, you are worth the wait.  Do not lower yourselves to todays desperate standards and lack of boundaries.  You are far more attractive to a godly man when you walk in confidence, security, sexual purity, the fear of the Lord and maintain biblical boundaries for yourself.  “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  (Proverbs 31:30)





Humility

14 11 2011

Did you ever sing that chorus, It’s All About Me?  It goes something like this:  It’s all about me, Jesus, it’s not about You…  Joking of course, but there are times I feel as though I am singing it from my flesh – my need.  It is anything but a humble cry.  But it is a cry of the soul in our me centered world and it’s easy to get caught up in it myself.  Rick Warren said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”  I like the balance of that statement.  Charles Spurgeon once said, “Humility is to make a right estimate of one’s self.”  So how do you balance those quotes with this one, “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth?”  (Numbers 12:3)  Do you know who God used to write those words?  Moses himself.

Someone once said that humility is like underwear, essential, but indecent if it shows.  Benjamin Franklin  spoke about humility when he said, “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.”  Jesus said, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”  (Matthew 23:12)  Humility does not come by taking a class on the subject or by listening to a sufficient number of sermons on the topic.  It does come, however, by difficult life experiences.  It comes when we are tempted to walk in selfish ambition or speak of ourselves in prideful ways.  It comes when someone reminds us of a fault and we have to take ownership for that fault, swallow our pride and ask for forgiveness.  Humility comes from wisdom Proverbs tells us (Proverbs 11:2), and wisdom comes from “the fear of the Lord.”  (Proverbs 15:33a)

Perhaps Benjamin Franklin was right when he said, “Humility makes great men twice honorable.”   (Proverbs 15:33b states, “…humility comes before honor.”)





Jesus, a Man’s Man?

7 11 2011

Twenty five men from Washington DC gathered together this past weekend at a retreat center in the mountains of Maryland.  Annually they separate from their jobs, their families, their local church and their everyday normal life to learn, to play, to stay up late watching college football, and to not shave.  One of the topics discussed was about Jesus, the Son of God, a man’s man.  This is what we discovered:

He is powerful – Mark 5:30; 11:12-14, 20-25

He commands respect – Mark 1:16-20. 27; 15:5

He’s in control – Mark 6:50

He stands up to and does not run from confrontation – Mark 2:23-28; 3:22-30; 11:27-33

He knows how to take a beating – Mark 15:19-20

He understands His mission and purpose and will not be sidetracked – Mark 8:31-34; 9:30-32; 10:33-34

He is compassionate – Mark 6:34; 10:15-16

Masculinity is under attack in our culture today.  John Piper calls masculinity a sense of “benevolent responsibility” to lead, protect and provide for women.  Author Stu Webber wrote, “The measure of a man is the spiritual and emotional health of his family…a vision for strong sons and confident daughters.  Without that vision and leadership, a family struggles, gropes and may lose its way.”

As a man, Jesus knew who He was and clearly stated, “This is who I am; this is where I came from; this is what I do; and this is where I am going.” (John 8: 12-18, 23-30) Jesus was an initiator because initiation is the bottom line of masculinity.  It means leading to provide, to mentor, to father, to befriend, to apologize, to develop, to invent, to love and to take responsibility with tender, but masculine authority.

We could hear Jesus asking, “Are you willing to follow the One who created the masculine soul?”





Hungry

3 11 2011

As a child, when I showed up at the dinner table early my mother could be heard saying, “The hungry ones are at the table.”  She was right, I was hungry and ready to consume a wonderful home cooked meal.

I am blessed with the opportunity to speak and share God’s truth around the world.  I do find a difference in the one’s seated before me from place to place.  For some it’s just another meeting; for others it’s a “I’ll see if this speaker can impress me or teach me anything new.”  But for a few, the hungry ones, they are seated at the table early… anticipating.  Mary and I had the privilege of speaking at numerous events this past weekend on the west coast of the US.  People gathered early.  Excitement was in the air.  Anticipation lingered in the Spirit and prayerful hearts were seated with a passionate hunger for what God was about to speak to them.  God did not disappoint them; He delivered to the hungry ones.

For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9








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