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Another Heart.

I was reading in 1 Samuel today about the time when Samuel anointed Saul to be the first king of Israel. It wasn’t a position that Saul was pursuing or really even interested in. However, God did choose Saul to fill this position. And here is the kicker… Saul wasn’t even qualified for the position. He didn’t have the proper training or pedigree. Really the only thing that he had going for himself was that he was tall and good-looking. And as we all know those are the two most important things that every leader must possess. By the way I know I’m not tall but my handsomeness more than makes up for it… so I’m still good right?

So obviously there is a major problem. How is Saul going to be king over a nation when he has no real ability to lead. And what did God see in him? Is it possible that God didn’t see anything in him? Is it possible that God didn’t place His trust in Saul but in Himself? Is it possible that when God calls you to do something to advance his kingdom it isn’t that you have something great to offer, but rather a Great God is able to make you into what He wants you to be?

2 Samuel 10:6 Samuel tells Saul… Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. God knew Saul wasn’t the man who Israel needed…so he began to work on him.

2 Samuel 10:9 When he (Saul) turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart.

God doesn’t call you because you are so special… you are special because God calls you. You don’t have to change in order to be called by God, but my guess is that God will begin to change you before he uses you.

Perhaps God has put a calling on your life and you haven’t seen anything come from it… could it be that He is wanting to give you a new heart first? Are you allowing God to change you, work on you, and equip you so that he can use you?

God has great things planned for you…but he might need to do a little work on you first.  Will you let him?

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

No Longer Sad

One of the most heartbreaking scenes in the Bible occurs in 1 Samuel 1. It is the exchange between two women who are married to the same man. Peninnah had children and Hannah did not. As this scene plays out it becomes very clear that Hannah had a deep desire to be a mother and the one who could have been her closest ally turned into a bitter rival. As Peninnah would make fun of her… berate her… and question her purpose and womanhood.

We see this scene play out as a completely broken Hannah is pouring out her heart before the Lord in the temple. She is so broken in fact that the priest in the temple thinks that she must be drunk and he reprimands her for drinking too much. However, when she informs him that she is not drunk but filled with heart ache and anger over this situation and was desperately begging God for a child, the priest blessed her and assured her that the God of Israel would grant her request.

Now here is the part that surprises me. For years and years and years her heart ached for a child. For years and years and years Pehinnah had berated her and made fun of her. Think of the doubt and frustration that must have haunted Hannah on a daily basis. Yet one promise from heaven changed everything.

vs 18 Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

Why was she so happy? Cause she believed the promise the moment it was given… and long before it was fulfilled. She was happy because she didn’t have to live in doubt anymore. She was happy because she knew that one promise from the Lord would change everything. She was happy because she believed that God was able.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Leadership Surprises

I was reading through Isaiah the other day and it starts out very typical of an Old Testament Prophet.  There are lots of promises of judgements… woe… really some pretty scary stuff.  And what I realized through the first few chapters of that book was that there was a tremendous lack of leadership as well.  No one was willing to step to the fore front and say, “I will lead.”  

As a pastor I follow a lot of blogs and twitter feeds and it seems in our country today there is no lack of leadership… let me clarify… there is no lack of books and blogs and people telling everyone else what makes a good leader.  There may in fact be a lack of leadership in our society today, but I think that discussion might be for another day.  

But it occurred to me that in Isaiah 6 when Isaiah had this vision of the Lord seated on his throne.  And overhears the Trinity having a conversation in which they were looking for a leader on Earth.  “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us!”  And then Isaiah responds, “Here am I!  Send me.”  That possibly Isaiah didn’t really know what he was in for.  Perhaps he had read to many books that talked about the great joys of leadership and didn’t realize the reality of the situation that he found himself in.

If you look at the very next verse God says, “Great… now go and tell the people that I will hide myself from them so they can’t find me.”  Basically the worst message imaginable.  I’d imagine that came as a little bit of a surprise to Isaiah and his new found leadership position.

And I wonder… in whatever leadership position that you find yourself currently in, has there been some unexpected surprises?  If you knew then what you know now, would you still say, “Here am I!  Send me.”  

I would love to hear your thoughts.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The G.O.A.T.

I am greater than the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all time.) Now this time I want you to read it out loud… I don’t care if you are at home, work, the coffee shop, or in the middle of class (by the way if you are in the middle of class you shouldn’t be reading this.) Ok are you ready? Out loud… “I am greater than the G.O.A.T.”

That is the promise that Jesus gives in Matthew 11… that if you have a personal relationship with Him you are greater than the greatest person ever born. Now that’s something. So next time you feel like you don’t have any talent remember you are greater than the G.O.A.T. The next time you start feeling like you are not good enough, smart enough, funny enough, pretty enough, or talented enough. Remember you are greater than the G.O.A.T.

And because of that promise you are in a perfect position to Forcefully Advance the Kingdom. And I truly believe that God wants to use you today to do this very thing.

This last Sunday we discovered the new vision of the church. To equip the body of believers to forcefully Advance the Kingdom. And I can not wait to see the way God is going to move through the fraternity of the forceful. The cool thing is we didn’t have to wait long. At the conclusion of that message we saw 6 people raise their hands to commit their lives to Jesus for the first time… how cool is that. On top of that, Monday morning a lady came into my office with some questions about her uncle and I had the privilege to pray with her as she committed her heart to Jesus for the very first time… how cool is that. Seven lives added to the Kingdom in 2 days… Thank you Lord.

What do you think, are you ready to Advance the Kingdom? Will you begin to speak boldly, confidently, and forcefully? You have all the tools… let’s make it happen. I love where God is taking us, don’t you?

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tear your heart.

Joel 2:13 Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.

I wonder if sometimes we think that God is impressed when we go to the alter, get down on our knees, burry our head in our hands and ask for forgiveness. As if this outward show has somehow convinced God to look the other way for awhile. Maybe that “act” of repentance has bought you a little bit more time before you actually have to do the dirty work of actual repentance.

I love how in the book of Joel, God is calling the people to return to Him. He admonishes them to come to Him with their whole heart, with fasting, with weeping, with mourning, and with real – genuine – authentic – repentance.

I wonder if God would say the same thing to us today. It is time to return… to stop going through the motions of repentance and actually allow the Holy Spirit to RIP sin from our heart, no matter how painful and how damaging it may be. It seems that real repentance is messy and extremely painful…are you ready for that? Or are you content to keep going to the motions.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Awesome blog on the Proverbs 31 Woman

I came across this blog today that I thought all of our ladies need to check out.  Some of you may be turned off by the title… some may find themselves in full agreement with the title.  Either way, read the whole thing.  Especially if you have ever felt the pressure to be the Perfect Proverbs 31 woman.  I hope it gives you some grace and comfort.

Why I Hate the Proverbs 31 Woman

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Mud in the road.

During High School one summer I had a job on a ranch. And it wasn’t a cool ranch job. I wasn’t riding a horse and rounding up the cattle… there were those guys on the ranch it just wasn’t me. Me and a couple of other guys where responsible to cut down all the musk thistles that were growing all over the place. It was a BORING job, and since we were usually all by ourselves and miles away from the boss we would have to do things from time to time to break up the monotony. So when it rained the night before we would usually take a little detour and do a little mudding in the truck before cutting down the weeds. The plan was in place, we were even going to wash the pick-up. You know destroy the evidence. However, it is a little difficult to wash mud off of a pick-up when you get it stuck.

And it isn’t fun when you have to make the shameful call and ask the boss for help. He asked where we were and wasn’t super happy when he found out that we were miles away from where we were supposed to be.

And sometimes that happens in life. We veer off course and get ourselves in trouble. The mud is thick and we get stuck. We know whose falt it is and so all we can do is beg for forgiveness.

But what happens when you are exactly where you are supposed to be and get stuck in the mud.

Jeremiah was a mighty man of God, full of courage and integrity. He spoke the Word of God with authority. He was God’s mouthpiece to a backslidden nation. Jeremiah was exactly where he was supposed to be, but when the king didn’t like what Jeremiah had to say he gave his men the green light to deal with Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 38:6 So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, buy only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.

That hardly seems fair! Jeremiah was faithfully serving God and ends up stuck in the mud. If you read the rest of the story it has a happy ending, at least it does for Jeremiah. But I can’t help but wonder what he must have been thinking down in the pit stuck in the mud.

Probably the same things that you think when you find yourself doing everything you are supposed to do and get stuck in the mud of life. “God where are you? Have you forgotten about me? Is there sin in my life that I am not aware of? What did I do to deserve this? I’m probably gonna die here alone and dirty?”

Some times you go where you aren’t supposed to be and find the mud. Sometimes God leads you to the mud… just remember if God leads you to the mud he will lead you through the mud.

So next time you find yourself stuck in a mud pit that God placed in your path, don’t get to upset. In fact, rub a little mud on your face, put a couple of cucumber slices on your eyes and wait on the Lord.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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