God Is Good

BIBLE READING: Phil 4:18 - 20 18 At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. 20 Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen.

BLOG: So yesterday I told you that I was having a rough day.  When I got to church yesterday morning, 1/2 of the churches electricity was off.  No AC.  No Lights. Nothing.  So we called FPL who eventually came out to see what the problem was.  Their diagnosis, the bypass meter box was broken.  (That's the box that your meter is in.)  There was no doubt.  Call an electrician.  

This morning three electricians show up.  After some fiddling, they "accidentally" fixed everything.  They told me to call FPL and tell them their meter was defective.  FPL came out and said, "What's the problem?" I told them everything up to that point and that three experience, licensed electricians, said it was the meter.  A new meter will be installed.  

But after all of that.  One of the AC units wouldn't run. "Really?" I thought.  So I called my guy out, and he asked which one?  I showed it to him.  He walked up to it and "Viola" it miraculously came on.  It would not run for one hour, and now it is running.  

All I could think was ... 

1 Chronicles 28:20  ... "Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.

Now don't misunderstand me.  I was one "stressed out" pastor.  Why was I stressed out?  No electricity, no church Sunday!  But I never gave up.  All I know is, it was broken, and now it isn't.  

God is good.  

Take time right now to thank God for being in the middle of everything that went wrong.  Sure you had to go through it, but now you know He was with you every step of the way.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, walk with me today.  Amen  

Ahhhhhhhh!

NOTE:  It’s late, I’m tired and I apologize.  I explain more in my blog, but for now please excuse any bad grammar.  I’ll try to do better tomorrow, I promise.

BIBLE READING: Philippians‬ ‭4:15-17. “As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.”  NLT‬‬

BLOG:  I got up this morning with every intention of getting stuff done today.  That was short-lived.
I’ll tell you more that soon.  But while I was dealing with one big problem today, ministry happened.

One such thing happened a little while ago.  As I was checking out of the store the cashier asked, “How was your day?”   My answer was honest.  “You know, generally I try to be a positive person.  While I am not having the greatest of days, I know that I am going to make it.”

At this moment, this woman who I have never met shared with me a story about the last year of her life.  Divorce from an abusive husband.  Setting out on her own.  Asking God to help her every step of the way.  While she said that she wasn’t a religious person, she gave credit to God.

I felt ashamed of my complaint.

So I leaned in and took her hand and said, “I’m a Pastor, you did it right.”

She lit up, smiled and said, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

I’ve learned that frustrations and interruptions force us to rely on God and His wisdom.

So what do you do when God wrecks your plans for the day?

Rely on people who care enough to help.  You will need their assistance.

Try to give more than you receive.  It isn’t a competition and you don‘t have to keep score.  But giving keeps you from being selfish.

Trust God.  If God wrecked your plans, He did so for a reason.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, guide me through Your interruptions today.  AMEN

Ouch! That Hurts!

BIBLE READING: Phil 4:10-14 10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn't have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.14 Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.

BLOG: Pain hurts. That's the definition of it, isn't it? It's an uncomfortable sensation we experience in a variety of ways. I've felt physical pain.  Pass a kidney stone, and you'll know what I am talking about. I've felt emotional pain. I've been betrayed, insulted, and treated poorly by some.

But there is another aspect of pain that we often don't acknowledge — perceived pain.  Someone tells us something that could lead us to a painful situation.  Automatically, our brain goes into defense mode even though nothing has happened.

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Unresolved pain can turn into depression. That's why Jesus was clear when he taught in Matthew 18:15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault," He made it clear if your offended take action to get over it before fear sets in.

But the writer of Provers tells us even more wisdom,  Proverbs 19:11, "Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense." You can choose to let someone offend you.

But let's take it a little farther. You're hurt, and it's not even your fault.  God cares.  Pouring your heart out to God in pain isn't a sin.  Holding on to it and allowing it to make you bitter will lead you to offend God with your actions.

No, no one has to welcome pain into their lives, but how they respond to it does say a lot about their character in Christ.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to face pain, rejection, loss, and even perceived pain with your hope and life.  AMEN

Are You Full?

BIBLE READING: Phil 4:4 - 6 4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.  6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

BLOG:  I was eating at someone's house, and someone asked, "Are you full?"  I told the truth.  "Yes, I was full."  The lady of the house said, "No, you are not!" and set down another course to the meal.  I ate it, mostly out of fear.  But I ate it.  

Phil. 4:4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 

How do you rejoice when you don't feel like it? 
How do you rejoice when in the face of bad news? 
How do you rejoice when life isn't fair? 

Paul isn't ignoring the obvious. Life isn't fair.  He is merely choosing to find joy in something else. 

For many people, most of their life either satisfies their needs or brings them joy.  They have found something that seems to make them happy.  

This isn't what Paul is speaking of.  He isn't saying, "Well if you've been good, then God has been taking care of you. Therefore, your life is turning out just the way you planned it."  

What He is saying is this.  Find joy in something that can always give you joy.  Jesus Christ, what He has done for you and what He is doing for you, and what He is going to do for you, is a source of joy that will never fail you. 

What do you choose to be "full" on?  

Choose the things that God gives.  Choose to be full of His hope and love.  Choose to find joy in His promises that He never fails.  Choose to embrace His future for you.  

Then rejoice!  Joy always takes action.  Why?  Because you cannot hold it back.  I've never met someone who said, "Nope, I'm full - I don't want anymore!"  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I'm looking to You, and I rejoice today.  AMEN  



Choose Wisely

BIBLE READING  Philippians 4: 1 - 3 4 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.  2 Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. 3 And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.

BLOG: Remeber the line from the Matrix where Morpheus tells Neo, "Remember… all I'm offering is the truth, nothing more…"? It's that moment when Neo has to choose between the red pill, which represents the harsh reality of life and the blue pill, which represents the ignorance of the harsh realities of life.

Of course, Neo chooses the red pill; otherwise, that would have been the end of the movie.

But you and I still have to choose between the truth and the lies of life.

First of all, someone is lying to you.

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Satan would love for you to live in the fear he creates to control you with.  He would love for you to believe that you can do whatever you do; there is no right and wrong.  He would love for you to believe that gossip, cheating, lying, lust, and a host of other sins are "normal."

John 8:32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Real life is based on the real truth.  Sure we still have to pay taxes, deal with cheating friends, disease, depression, and even death.  But we can see these things for what they are.  The truth is, Jesus came to give us eternal life.  That life starts now!  His promises are for the present.  Look at the truth of your life through His eyes.  You will see so much more than the doom would love for you to embrace.

Know what God has called you to do and pursue it with all of your heart.  The truth is, Satan wants to stop you from doing anything that could remotely bring joy to your life and hope to others.  The truth is, you're going to have to fight.  But the truth also says you've already won.

Revelation 20:10  and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I know that Satan is defeated, help me to see that truth in my life today as I pursue your will.  AMEN


The Most Powerful Thing You Can Do Is . . .

BIBLE READING:  Phil 3:17 - 21 17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

BLOG: . . . Listen 

Who or what are you listening to? 

The power of listening is such a lost art in our world today.  Here is a little experiment that will only take about 20 seconds.  Close your eyes and identify every sound around you.  Go ahead, and I'll wait. 

Were you surprised?  There is more going on that you realize.  Often we approach our everyday life this way.  We prioritize what we want to hear but ignore what we need to hear.  

Listen with your ears.  Focus on what someone is saying and hear every word. 

Listen with your mouth.  Repeat what you hear to ensure that you heard them right. 

Listen with your eyes.  What does their body language say?  Are their eyes shifty?  Their arms folded? 

Listen with your heart.  Often we miss this one.  People are trying to tell us something.  Go past the words and body language, hear their heart with yours so you can understand their pain or joy.  

Proverbs 2:2 Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;

On June 3rd of this year, Justin Sun, the founder of cryptocurrency company Tron, won lunch with successful investor and fourth richest man in the world Warren Buffett. How much did it cost him? $4,567,888 (All proceeds go to charity.) 

In a statement from Buffett, "The one universal characteristic with all the winners is that they have a good time and feel like they've gotten their money's worth."

Believe me when I say that Sun will walk away with more than his moneys worth in financial wisdom, stock tips, and advise.  

That's financial wisdom.  But what kind of wisdom are you looking for?  Spiritual?  Marital?  Parenting? What are you willing to pay for it?  Time?  Money?  Education?  Who are you ready to listen to, and are you willing to listen?  

I can guarantee you that Sun isn't walking into this lunch absentminded.  He has a list of questions, and he will ask questions to clarify and understand what he is told.  

Are you willing to do the same for your life? 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me listen to Your wisdom and follow Your will for my life.  AMEN