Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sermon Video 05-30-10

1 KINGS 15 & 16



THE MAIN POINT:
God will never create a situation where He is not needed.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Product Details

I recently finished  A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING by my friend Tommie Zito.  This book has the potential to set your heart on fire for the Gospel.

Probably the most sobering word to me personally was:
So, if the light is stronger than darkness, we have nothing to fear. Therefore, if the church, who is inhabited by the light, enters a dark world, the darkness must be overcome by the light.  What I have come to realize though, is that the church is trying to do everything they can to keep the light to themselves.  (p. 149)

Let me take my previous statement back... what I quoted above is not sobering as much as it is crushing.

As I look back through the book, I can see that it is full of notes and is highlighted more than it isn't.

Bottom line: If you want to have your relationship with Christ strengthened and your love for the comfort of the world challenged... read A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING!

It just might be an awakening for you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I Couldn't Resist!


THAT IS SERIOUSLY FUNNY!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Philanthropy Today

I get regular emails from Philanthropy Today.
(I'm on their mailing list.)

Here are a few of the headlines for today's newsletter:

Charity Director Accused by Lender of Improper Use of Money

Former State Lawmakers Face Allegations of Using Charities for Unlawful Purposes

Calif. AIDS Group Accused of Misusing Funds

(sigh)

I am so glad that, when it's all said and done... Jesus will reign supreme and all of the filth of this world will be done away with.

Until then... seek to be a blessing.

Living to Survive?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4e/Autocaptaineve.jpg
Picture credit here.
 
"I do not want to survive... I want to live!" -- The Captain of the Axiom (Disney's WALL-E)

One of the benefits of having 4 kids under 7 is most certainly the movies. I think I could write, from memory, the screen play for various movies involving colorful fish being found, talking race cars and the adventures they find themselves in, and the inevitable story of toys. We watch, probably too many, movies at the Johnson house.

Once, while watching WALL-E, I came across the quote above. Now, to fully grasp the impact of what the captain was talking about would take a while to explain. But simply looking at it superficially you get the point... don't you?

I know too many people that are simply surviving.

"What's your goal in life?", they are asked.

"I don't know...", they reply rather confident of their uncertainly.

Friends, the goal of life is to live... not simply survive. In the opening chapters of Genesis we see the Lord creating the world we find ourselves in today, only perfect. We were charged with managing the planet. We were commanded to fill the earth and subdue it. Granted, the curse stemming from the fall has severely limited the joy we experience.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10

Jesus offers life... and life more abundantly. Will you receive it... or will you simply survive?

A Random Thought

One if my daughters came into our Daniela and my bedroom this morning all upset. She had a bad dream and thought there might be some truth to it. Long story... shortened... she slept in our bed after that.

As I was reflecting on this today, I am so relieved that the Lord has clearly laid out His plan. There is a very little guesswork as to what He is doing and why. (Matthew 5:17-18)!!!

I don't know about you... but I take great comfort in that.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

REAL LEADERS DON'T DO POWERPOINT

  Product Details

Christopher Witt serves his readers well with his witty REAL LEADERS DON'T DO POWERPOINT.

Now... as an avid user of PowerPoint (PPT), I have to admit, I was a more than curious when I began reading this book.  In fact, you could rightly say that I was reading it with a "I'm just gonna sit in the corner with my arms folded and pout" attitude.  Here's the scoop:

The book's title gives away the essence... PPT does not make you a leader.

Leadership is influence, plain and simple.  PPT is great for conveying information... not necessarily persuading. 

I will leave all the details for Mr. Witt to elaborate on, but know this:

You should only read this book if you want to lead and be followed.

Be blessed... be a blessing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Wandering Heart



In this message, we examine some of the things that lead our hearts astray from 1 Kings 11.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Determined!

Take a moment and read this...
You can see the determination in his eyes

Are you determined to grow as a Christian? (2 Peter 3:18)

Are you determined to raise a God-honoring family? (Ephesians 5 - 6)

Are you determined to make a difference for the Gospel? (Matthew 5:13 - 16)

Be blessed... be a blessing!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Too Busy

"Daddy... can I show you something?"

"... not now baby... I'm too busy."

Sometimes life seems to move at a pace that is hard to keep up with. Work, ministry, marriage, parenting, school, and other  
responsibilities are not bad, per se, ... but they can lead us to loose sight of several needful things.

The church at Ephesus found themselves doing ministry in quantities that would make our heads spin. They were commended by our Lord for their diligence... but the praise they received lost all it's triumph when His criticism came their way:

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
Revelation 2:2 - 5

I wonder sometimes if the Lord were to write me a letter... would it include the words: "I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love."?

Busy is not bad... but we need to remember Who our first love is and keep Him first.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sermon Video 05-16-10





The Curious Visit of the Queen of Sheba
1 Kings 10:1 - 13

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NEXT GENERATION LEADER

 Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future

Andy Stanley is a world-class leader and we should expect nothing less than a world-class book on leadership from him.  He delivered the goods... again.

He has nailed it with this short, but precise work.  What are the qualities of a NEXT GENERATION LEADER?

1.  Competence.  Always work in your area of gifting and surround yourself with those who excel where you do not for maximum return.

2.  Courage.  Leaders do what needs to be done... period.

3.  Clarity.  Leaders need to be clear about where they are going... especially if the "how" is not certain.

4.  Coaching.  Evaluation by key people and mentors is another ingredient to success.

5.  Character.  Without ethics and moral integrity you might be a leader... but certainly not one worth following.

I think Andy capsulizes the essence of this book in the epilogue:

"[Leadership] is a gift.  But it is a gift that comes to you in raw form.  Like music or art, leadership must be developed if it is to be used effectively."

That is the author's goal and I recommend this work to anyone wanting to "go farther... faster".

Scars

Scars...

We all have them.

Some we try to cover up... and others we can't do a thing about.

I don;t know about you, but every time I see a scar of mine I am reminded of the pain I went through.

Brethren, I don;t know what circumstances you are facing at the moment but take comfort from James 1:2 - 4 =

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

If what you are going through today leaves a scar tomorrow... remember that it is for your edification.

Be blessed... be a blessing.

Monday, May 10, 2010

1 Kings 8 (05-09-10)




The question is not, "Should I be dedicated?"

The question is... "Am I?"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Humble Advancement

As I reflect on mother's day (THIS SUNDAY FOR THOSE WHO ARE LIVING UNDER A ROCK) I can't but help turn my attention to Philippians 2.  I know it is sort of lengthy, but please read the passage below and consider the comments that follow it.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

As I look at my wife and consider my upbringing, I see something very similar here.  Consider your mother for a moment.   The one who humbled herself and served you.  The one that bore you and, if we are honest, put up with more than she should have.

Why did she do it?

What prize was she seeking? 

None....

That's right. It is because they loved (and still love) you.  And that fact alone should humble you and lead you to exalt her.

Be blessed... be a blessing.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Dedicated Life

To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power.
Proverbs 8:13-14

This Sunday we will be looking at the dedication of the first Temple. It should be a great time as we examine our role in God's plan and consider our lifes (and bodies) as being dedicated to the Lord.  In the passage above, notice what the Lord is saying about the extent of corruption:

- THOUGHTS = pride and arrogance

- DEEDS = evil behavior

- WORD = perverse speech

We should be using, as good stewards, all of our time and energy to exalt the person of Jesus and minister to folks.

The Temple was dedicated... set apart if you will... for the singular purpose of worshiping God.

We should be too.

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
"Therefore come out from them
and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you."
"I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

2 Corinthians 6:16 - 18


Monday, May 3, 2010

05-02-10 1 Kings 5 - 6





FIRST THE TEMPLE... THEN THE PALACE.

In this week's message we examine the need to put the Gospel at number one priority.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

WHO'S HERO

"Everyone's a hero in their own way, in their own not that heroic way."
-- Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, 2008

I came across this quote the other day and it got my brain juices flowing.

What is a hero?  They are people who sacrifice for the greater good.

Jesus Christ is, obviously, the greatest example of this... "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13). 

When I come home I see one of the biggest heroes in my life.  Daniela.

She labors and sacrifices all day long for the sake of our children.  She is a hero.

Is there a hero in your house... at work... in your circle of influence that should be honored as such?

Take a moment and let them know.