Things Kind of Slow Right Now?

Everything is in its time and season.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

Sometimes it seems like your not being as successful as you think you should be.  Sometimes you think your marriage isn't going in the right direction or your kids are doing their best right now.  Whatever it is, life sometimes takes a breather - and it's ok.  

When that happens, go with it.  God allows times in your life when you, your family, your church your business, even your relationship with Christ slows down.  The purpose is to allow you to gain strength and prepare for the next growth spurt. 

What should you do when this happens. 

Take some time off.  There are seasons when you should go on vacation and take some time to recharge your batteries. 

Read.  Take some time to improve a skill set or address a need in your life.

Sleep.  I know during growth times, sleep is a novelty.  But when things slow down, allow your body to do the same. 

Share.  Share your life and times with others.  It could be a walk along the river with your spouse.  Go bike riding with your kids or have dinner with friends.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to use my time wisely during this time you are giving me. AMEN 

Trusting God - Yea You Can Do It

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. ...

There are a few things about God you should know. 

- He likes to show off.  No not in some kind of arrogant, showy way.  He loves to show off His love and mercy to us.  

- He loves us.  He really, really, really loves us.  To say that He would move a mountain for you is accurate.  Matthew 17:20 

- He doesn't get as angry as you think.  Yea, you mess up, but He isn't up in heaven with a 9 iron waiting to tee your head off every time you make a mistake.  Sometimes, He just points them out and then shows you the way through it.  

- He thinks you are valuable.  As a follower of Jesus, He has a plan for you.  No, you are not some insignificant cog in a big machine.  You are essential to what He wants to do in the lives of others.  He really needs you - because He wants you.  

He gives and gives and gives.  The closer you get to Him the more He gives to you.  Wisdom, love, grace, knowledge, spiritual gifts, hope, clarity, purpose (and that's the short list.) 

Trust Him today.  You'll discover more than you have ever hoped or dreamed for. 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I'm going to trust you today.  AMEN

So A Thing Happened

This week Anneka and I stopped at the local grocery store to pick up a few items.  It was late, and we were in a hurry.  As soon as I got to the register, I realized that I had left my bank card in the car.  I told Anneka to hurry and get it.  As soon as she left the lady in front of us finished checking out.  She was fumbling with a few cards, and after she was done the cashier told her, she owed another $35.  The lady then sheepishly then said, "Well I am going to have to put some of the items back."

Immediately the Holy Spirit said, "Pay for it."  To be honest, I was tired and done for the day.  But all of a sudden I was awake and paying attention.  Anneka hadn't returned, and I was at a loss as to what to do.  Suddenly Anneka appears and hands me the card.  The lady turns around for a moment trying to decide what she is going to return and I slipped my bank card into the machine.

The lady turns around, in shock, and says, "Thank You."  That was it!  She was grateful and a little embarrassed.  But as soon as the transaction was over, she was gone.  "OK," I thought.  I did what the Holy Spirit wanted me to do.  Then the cashier chimed in.  "Thank you so much.  That was the most beautiful thing I have seen all day long.  You made my day and put a smile on my face.  Thank you, thank you, thank you."  Then I got it.  The Holy Spirit wasn't trying to make an impression on the shopper.  He wanted to make an impression on the cashier.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

You never know who you are going to impress for Christ.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to leave a good impression on someone for You today.  AMEN  

Holy Frustration

Frustration is a fact of life.  We frustrated with people, life, even God.

But what do you do when God dilberatly frustrates you?

Paul wants to go east, but the Holy Spirit says no.  He doesn’t tell Paul what to do immediately until he receives a dream to go to Macedonia.

The enslaved Jews in Egypt were frustrated when Pharaoh wouldn’t let them go the first time.

In each of these examples God had a purpose say, “wait”!  What is frustrating you and why is God making you wait?

Build faith.  Your current level of faith is ready for what God has planned.  So while you work through your frustration your faith grows.

Develop trust.  Frustration tests your resolve to remain faithful.  Either God is in this or not.  You’ve got to believe.

Victory is sweeter when you have to wait for it.  When your breakthrough happens, and it will, God will get the glory.

PRAY: Dear Jesus, I’m frustread but I recognize that you are in it.  Help me today.  AMEN

You're Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked.

Rev 3:17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

As you may have guessed I am talking about the church in Laodicea.  Jesus speaks very sternly to this church for obvious reasons.  They really don't need Him.  

Years ago I was in some service, somewhere, listening to some preacher.  I really don't remember.  But I do remember what the minister said.  "We've become the church in Laodicea, we don't need God anymore, we worship Him but we don't give Him permission to enter our lives or churches."  OUCH!  I thought.  

Now you might say, "Well, my church isn't that way!"  Then you stop here and praise God for that.  

Now there are a few observations I want to make about the church in Laodicea you might find interesting. 

They didn't know that they were wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.  They had to be told.  I'm sure if you were in the church of Laodicea when this letter was read you might have felt anger, embarrassment, and humiliation.  

Their pride was their downfall.  They didn't need God because they were so rich, smart and better than everyone else.  Arrogance is a horrible taskmaster.  It will convince you that you don't need God all the while sucking the life out of your soul. 

Being spiritually dispassionate was a way of life.  As far as we can tell, there was no call by anyone in the church to wake up and renew their relationship with Jesus.  

Is there something rumbling in the depth of your spirit?  Is there a holy discomfort in your soul?  What do you do? 

Pray.  Ask God what to do.  Pray for your leadership, pray for your church, pray for yourself. 
Wait.  Patience is a true teacher.  Wait for God to move in your life.  
Hope.  Place your hope in Christ and He will not fail you. 

Don't quit - Don't become a holy crusader - Don't allow yourself to become bitter while waiting.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, put a holy discomfort in my heart to seek more of you in my life.  AMEN

PS.  What happened to the church in Laodicea?  According to 

... the Laodicean church’s “lukewarm” legacy was not its final legacy.

The church at Laodicea survived Domitian’s (Ceasers) reign. The city became a seat of a Christian bishop, and a Christian council was even held there in the fourth century. Archaeologists have discovered about 20 ancient Christian chapels and churches at the site. The largest church at Laodicea, called the Church of Laodicea took up an entire city block and dates to the beginning of the fourth century.

When You Flunk Calculus

We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

So I had lunch today with someone who flunked calculus.  I am not judging.  I faked my way through algebra.  Slept my way geometry (but passed) and skipped on Trig and Calc.  So as far as I am concerned, he's still a genius.  

But what did he from this experience.  "I am bad at Calculus.  I should not do it.  I will never, ever, as long as I live ever try to do that again."  

That's good news.  My friend has learned a hard lesson in life.  Failure is a good teacher.  Learn quickly and move on. 

God created us to do something great for Him.  That doesn't mean that He created us to be great at everything.  As the old adage goes.  Don't try to put a square peg in a round hole.  For years I counseled people unsuccessfully.  Finally, out of frustration, I visited a pastor who was known for his counseling skills.  He told me that not everyone is cut out to be a counselor and that definitely I was not.  What a relief!  That isn't to say I can't, but I'm not good at it.  

Discover what God has created you to do and enjoy it.  I love writing.  I love teaching.  I love preaching.  I love coaching.  I love encouraging people.  I love laughing.  I love to see people's lives changed by the power of God.  

Discover what God created you to love and do it.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to discover what You created me to do.  AMEN