Thursday, October 15, 2009

What do we do?

We all have days, weeks or months when things are not going the way we want them too, or we find ourselves in the middle of a situation where we don't want to be. How do we handle it? How should we handle it?

In Genesis 37 and 39 we read about a young man named Joseph who was first sold by his brothers as a slave, and then later thrown in jail for something he never did. After he was thrown in jail, the bible says in Genesis 39:23 "The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed."

What do we do when we are thrown into a situation that seems hopeless? Most of the time I am sure we just panic, we think of everything that could possibly go wrong in the place where we are at. What if we looked at it in a different way? What if we looked for God in the middle of our situation? The bible tells us in Joshua 1:5 " No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Wherever you are, whatever you are going through, look for what God is doing for you in the situation, or what He might want to do. He is right there and will guide your every step if you put your faith and trust in Him.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another answer to the question " Why? "

We often think why did I have to undergo that circumstance or trial. Then we realize maybe it is because God wanted me to learn something from the experience to help mold me into a better person. I heard something this morning that adds yet another perspective on the " Whys " of my life.

We read in Mark 1:17, Jesus tells his disciples ""Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." The key thing here is : I will make . None of us are a natural at going out and leading a person to Christ. The things we go through in life both good and bad are what prepares us to go out and do this. Andy Stanley puts it this way, " It's not the message that wins a person to Christ, it's the messenger sometimes". What he means by this is that sometimes when a person is in a particular spot, God will use someone else who has been through a similar situation to help make sense of things to someone.

It never ceases to amaze me at how God is constantly at work in our lives in so many different ways. :-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Be Persistant

We always need to come to God in prayer. The bible tells us this. In Luke 18 verse 1 it tells us Jesus told his disciples that they should pray and never give up. Never give up! We all know we need to pray, that's no secret. How many of us come to a point sometimes where we think we have given it all to God and there is no sense praying any more for something? Sometimes we pray for little things, sometimes we pray for miracles, but aren't those petitions one in the same to our heavenly Father who loves us? No matter what the situation, don't just stop!

What if the people stopped marching around the walls of Jericho after 6 days because they felt they had given enough? God calls us to be persistent, to not give up. By giving up we tell ourselves we don't believe God has the authority over a situation in our lives. Whether it be finances, relationships, health or Gods will for your life, be desperate in prayer until He gives you what you seek.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


I love when God starts doing a changing work in my heart. One that draws me closer to Him. I will admit, it does come fast and furious and sometimes hurts a little.

Yesterday I was reading the Andrew Murray Daily Reader and it talked about how we need to meet with God First thing each day, not somewhere during the day. I have always read my bible at sometime during the day, but never really made it a first priority. That's change #1.

Change #2 came this morning when I was listening to the devotional they do every morning on Shine.FM . They talked about how when we pray we need to not only pray for the things around us, but we need to pray for ourselves as well. We need to ask God for things such as the Fruits of the Spirit to be more evident in our lives as well as for God to use me to help others to know his love.

Both of these are things I am definitely putting into the forefront of my life. I love when God changes me from the Inside Out. We do a worship song in youth group entitled From The Inside Out that talks about just this and how it draws us closer to God. Here is a part of the lyrics to that song:
" my heart and my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out "

When we let God change us from the inside out, it is more of a genuine lasting change and it will stay with us.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


A friend of mine posted the bible verse "Nehemiah 7:2 I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do."

I decided I want to be like this man Hananiah, I want to be known for my integrity. This I feel would be a good thing to have as I go through life ministering to students as well as adults I God may lead me to. If I don't have integrity, who would want to listen and actually believe what I have to say.

After I make this decision, I go and check some email. I have an email from Netflix stating that they had some technical issues last night that interfered with the streaming portion of the service I have with them. They stated in the email that if I expereienced this difficutly, I could click on a link and I would be refunded a full 3% of my monthly payment. All I need to do, is click on the link, no questions, just click!

I thought wow, I make a decision to have integrity and not 10 minutes later I get tested on it. Needless to say I did not click on the link. There was day when that might not have been the case.

I am glad I can serve a God who cares enough about me to test me to make me a better person.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why Hide? God is there!

Many times when we struggle with something or are just going through a difficult time in our own lives, we tend to seclude ourselves from everyone else. We close everything out and drown ourselves in our own pity. This is not what God would want us to do, and is exactly what the enemy would want us to do. When we seclude ourselves, we lose the accountability and encouragement we would get from our friends and family members.

With no one around, we tend to do things we probably should not do. Many people turn to alcohol, drugs or whatever can help them escape the reality of what is going on. Many teens turn to cutting or self abuse to ease the 'pain' of life.

I recently heard a Junior High student share in front of her peers about some struggles she was going through. God made it very clear what He wanted this to be shared. Why? To help others out who might be going through the same type of situation or might be thinking about it. He does not want us to just expose what we are going through, He wants us to share and encourage others who might be dealing with something similar.

We might think we are all alone which might make us want to go hide and do things to try and make the situation go away but most likely there are others going through similar things. Don't run and hide, God will always be with you and there to help you. Instead of running and hiding, go look for someone whom you can encourage. God loves to work through us when we are going through struggles in our own life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Here is something I posted back in the fall of 2007. I still feel the same way about it now as I did then. Prayer is important!

I pray for my wife and children everyday. I didn't used to. I would be too busy to get to work to start on some mindless time consuming project or server update or just go in and surf the net and read countless emails from technology listserves I subsribe to. That's all changed now. I pray with purpose now for things that God wants to do in my life and the life of my family.

This weekend we spent some time down at Grand Bear Lodge in Utica Illinois. They have a wave pool, water slides a a lazy river. It's a great time. There are signs posted all over about no shoes, no food and no running. Three year olds can't only not read, but they have a distinct way of forgetting to remember what you have told them, especially when they are having fun. We were talking in the shallow end of the pool when we turned and noticed Macie lying on the ground holding her head. She had slipped and fallen while running on the wet pavement. Heidi and I rushed over and Heidi picked her up to see where she hit her head. At this point Macie had arched back her head as if to let out one of those blood curdling cries of it hurts!! I noticed she wasn't really breathing at the time, and so did Heidi. As we rushed over to the lifeguards office for help, Macie passed out for about 20 seconds or so (give or take). Heidi panicked (as any mother would do if there daughter passed out in their arms). There were no guards in the office so I ran and grabbed the closest one. Macie did come to and began crying...for the next hour. That was a good sign.

To make a long story short, Macie was transported to the closest hospital for a CTScan and X-Rays to make sure she was OK. The tests were negative and the CT showed she had a very mild amount of swelling but nothing threatening. As I found out at the pool, a lady about 10' away heard her hit the ground. Ouch! After we returned the villa where we were staying, we looked her over and could not find a bump on her head....ANYWHERE ! She had a small scrape on her leg, but nothing else. God had so totally protected her when she fell.

The last thing on my mind that morning, or any morning for that matter , is that my kids are going to need Gods divine protection during the day. Don't ever under-estimate what God can do in your life or the life of someone you pray for for. He will be there when you don't even think you will be needing him.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Strength For Our Trials...

This is a repost from Oct 2007...I thought it might be of some importance to some......

We all have trials in life, some big and some small. Have you ever noticed that sometimes the smaller ones get us down more then the bigger ones? I was thinking about this after I read one of my email devotionals today. Why is it we let the little things worry us so, but we can often trudge through and over the large mountains and deep valleys life often throws at us? I am pretty sure it is the supernatural strength that God allows us to have during these times because we seem to give the big things up to Him and fight the little ones alone.

Something else the devotional pointed out was why we suffer greatly sometimes. It was something I never really thought about. One of the reasons we suffer in our trials on earth is so in a way we can relate in a tiny microscopic way to what Jesus went through on the cross for us. The devotional has one sentence in it I must share direct with you. This is from The Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotional Oct 12, 2007 " But the Good News is that our pain, our heartache, our confusion, our doubts, our mountain-sized difficulties can push us – if we allow it – into the very center of God’s all surpassing power." I like some of the things that 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 brings to light in my life:

When people ask me how I get through trials I can say what 2 Cor 4:7 says " We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. "

Here is how Gods power protects us 2 Cor 4:8-9

We are pressed on every side But not crushed

We are perplexed But not driven to despair

We are persecuted But not abandoned

We are knocked down But Not destroyed

Why? verse 10 says "Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies."

The song 'Trading My Sorrows' puts these versus into great perspective.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Late Night Discoveries

Not feeling well in the middle of the night is not fun. Not being in your own home makes it even worse. Instead of laying in bed feeling like bleh, I went for a walk outside. It was the right choice.

Since it was 12:30 AM, it was a very comfortable 60 degrees with no wind. Not something I get to see all the time. What I noticed was some of the sounds. There were some coyotes off in the distance howling at something, frogs in the pond croaking and various birds that weren't asleep yet sang some quiet songs.

As I leaned against the van to gaze into the heavens, I noticed there were so many more stars to see where we were staying then if I were back home. I love the country. At once point I looked skyward and a few seconds later was treated to a shooting star. It has been a long time since I have seen one of those. Kinda made the ickiness in my tummy worth it.

As I continued looking up at the sky, my eyes grew accustomed to the low light and even more stars began to appear. I was in awe. I told God thanks for creating all of these so I could enjoy them in my time of not feeling do well. It was then I was reminded that He created them for me to enjoy and worship so to speak, but that I was created to worship Him in return with all I do.

Sometimes when we aren't having such a good time, we need to just take a little walk to see what else God has done that we might not normally see.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How Much....

One thing I have heard people say about why they won't go to church or they don't want to become a christian is because God would not like someone like me, or I have done too many 'bad' things for him to accept me. That could not be farther from the truth. How much does God Love us? God said He would love us no matter what:

Romans 8:38-39 (New Living Translation)

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We all mess up and fall far short of what God would want us to do in one way or another, yet "Nothing in all creation" can seperate us from his Love. We need to let others know that there is nothing they could have done that would prevent God from loving them. We too need to love others as best we can also.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In The Middle

I get a lot of joking about being in the middle because my name is Malcolm, sometime though I actually do instigate it. Yesterday the enemy decided he was going to try and disrupt my life a little bit by creating a small storm in our lives. I won't go into any detail because it's not important. What is important is how we handled it.

At first there was some anger and some amazement at the situation. After that and some prayers and calls to some friends, a peace began to settle over us. It was similar I think to what the disciples encountered in the boat with Jesus. When the storm came up, they panicked a little a got off track a bit. They woke Jesus and He eventually told the storm to calm and they went on about their business about the boat and the journey at hand. ( My interpretation obviously )

After we had prayed, the Holy Spirit came and gave us a peace in the situation. As we talked last night I mentioned to my wife how if was very awesome to be sitting in the middle of a storm in our lives, yet we were at peace because the Holy Spirit was covering us with his love and grace.

The middle of a storm is an ok place to be when it's the Holy Spirit who clears the path for you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Always there for us

Everyone and a while, a trial or storm comes into our lives. How we choose to handle it is entirely up to us. How we react, how much we worry, it's all on our shoulders. One thing to know is God is always there for us,and His word says in Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

This past February God gave me the following paragraph in our quiet time during our annual Junior High retreat. I felt impressed to publish this today because I know I have some people in my life who are going through some tough times.

Be encouraged:

I am there when things are good.
I am there when things are bad.
When you think I am not there, look again. I won’t leave you.
If you still can’t see me, turn your eyes away from your problems and turn them on me.
I am in the good and the bad.
I will work the bad for good.
Just seek me with everything you have, do not give up.
I am always with you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Do Not Live In Fear

Fear is something we don't want to have run our lives. Sometimes God places before us something Ginormous ( I made the word up, or did I hear it on The Disney Channel ) that we don't have any real control over. Our first reaction is to run and hide. But that doesn't solve anything. We can't be afraid of something we can't control. We need to give it up to God....ALL of it! 2 Timothy 1:7 Says "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."
So if God didn't give us a spirit of fear, where do you think that might have come from when we are faced with these tough times in life? I am not saying that there are some types of fear that are good, but having a fear that God can not work something out in our lives is not from God. God gives us Power ( In the Holy Spirit ) Love (From His very own heart ) and Self-Discipline ( through the Holy Spirit ) to help us overcome and get through anything.
Gods power (strength) will give us what we need to endure the trial. Gods Love will let us know he is in control of the situation and we can turn it ALL over to Him (Remember Jeremiah 29:11 from the other day) The spirit of Self-Discipline will help to keep us focused on the task that God has on hand for us and not let us slip in what God is teaching us.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Great Day!!

Yesterday was a really good day. How do I know, because the enemy tried to give me a miserable night and upset me before NXT Worship. Why did he do this? Because he thinks he can win..what a fool.

Yesterday, through some friends I have never met, God shared with me that some of the things I have written down in the past do have meaning to others and that they were not just random thoughts by me. I was in a great mood all day! NXT Worship was AWESOME!! Nice try dumb fool.

Last night after worship practice for Calvary West, one of the members told me how much my playing had improved over the years. Usually being a drummer you only get the negative comments, too LOUD, too MUCH. It was nice to get a a compliment from a seasoned veteran of music, especially when it regarding the aspect of my playing I have been working on for the past few years.

Thanks God for speaking to me yesterday and letting me believe in me more!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Road Less Traveled

I started doing some blogs about 2 years ago, and then I just stopped for some reason. I am going to try and keep up with it more now. When I can not think of new ones, I will use some of the old ones I did. Here is one of the first I did:

The road less traveled is empty and lonely, and bumpy too. I guess that's where it gets its name. It is not the path of the straight and narrow either. I do think that if you travel the straight and narrow path that you might someday run into the less traveled one. Why? Here are my thoughts:
When you choose to follow God with everything you have, He will take you where He wants you to go. Before you know it, your walking somewhere you have never been, down a road not many have traveled. It's going to be bumpy and rough like any road that doesn't see much traffic. The good news is, God will be there with you. He'll even carry you when you need it. Here are a couple of versus to tuck in your mind when you find yourself on this road:
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
These thoughts of the road came to me in my prayer time last night, and God supplied the verses for me this morning as I did my devotions.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Taking It

I went for a nice little bike ride yesterday. Along the way I decided to stop and watch a Redtail Hawk. I love watching them soar, they are so majestic. As this one landed on a nearby electrical tower, he was immediately attacked by a smaller bird. This smaller bird pecked at the hawk about 5 times before the hawk had finally had enough and flew off circling the area.

Seconds after takeoff, 4 more small birds joined in the assault. This went on for about a minute and the hawk landed on the tower again. All of the birds with the exception of the one left. He felt the need to continue the assault. Once again, the hawk just sat there and took it. Eventually the smaller bird gave up and left the scene.

Sometimes in life we need to just deal with others. Words from someones mouth are not going to hurt us unless we let them. I doubt the small bird was hurting the hawk, or it would have gone back after it. Eventually the hawk got up and 'walked' away from the situation. When he landed again, it all started up again, but eventually the annoyance stopped. The same things will happen to us. Sooner or later if we just resist some of the people who try to bring us trouble, they will go away and we can enjoy our day.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

lectio divina

Means : Spiritual Reading

David Crowder suggests a new way of reading the scriptures to really get out of them what God puts in them for us in his book Praise Habit.  The 4 parts that make up lectio are:  Reading, Thinking, Praying and Living.

Obviously we need to READ the scripture to get something out of it.  We should read a passage a few times to really understand what it is saying. In other words, don't just fly through it and see if anything jumps off the page.  Immerse yourself in it.  Really see what's in it.  One of the awesome things about the bible is that it comes alive for us, it speaks directly to us as we read it.  Why wouldn't we want to immerse ourselves in something that God has for us?

Next, we need to stop and THINK about what we read and try and figure out just what it means to us.  One new concept to think about might be thinking about a particular passage for a couple of days and see how your thoughts might change as to what it means to you; how it can apply to different situations you are in.

After these first 2 steps it is suggested we then PRAY about what God is teaching us through the scripture.  Not an 'I want' or a 'Please help with this' kind of prayer, but a 2 way prayer where we actually talk to God about what He is teaching us.  Most of us don't learn by reading something then going out and doing it.  We usually interact with our teacher to get everything out of what we are being taught.  Ask God questions about what you are learning, He will show you the answers and explain things to you.

Now that we have done the first 3 steps, we need to go out and LIVE Gods word in front of others.  Why would we spend all that time seeing what God wants to do in our life and the changes He might want us to do to make us better from HIS own word, and then not go out and live it.  It would be like learning how to make a boring hamburger taste awesome, but the next time we make it, we skip the process to make it tastier and more appreciable because it takes time.  Being better through what Gods word says is worth the time.

I hope this has encouraged some of us to see a different way of reading Gods word.  I know it has me!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Give it time

We tend to live in a society where we can get most things right now, when we want it. Fast food places thrive on our want for the need to have it now. I have a 15 year old daughter who throws shot put for her high school track team. When she started the season, she was throwing around 20'. You could tell she wanted more distance but it didn't happen right away. She needed to start training by lifting weights and learning the proper technique to throw the shot. The distance started to come, but there were days when things didn't go so well either.

Our prayers for things we want God to do in our lives to help us out in situations are somewhat like training for an event. Most of the time we want God to do it NOW; in our time frame. I just walked a long journey with God and still have some distance left. What I noticed while on the journey was that I had to prepare myself for what He wanted me to be doing. Sometimes I had to go against what I wanted and allow Him to move in a situation the way He wanted while I sat back and continued 'training'. My manual was the bible and my coaches were the Holy Spirit and close friends God had placed in my life for the journey. Little by little things got better, and before I knew it I had achieved one of the goals of the journey. There are still more I have to get to, but I know now that the road will be longer.

My daughter has been training with her coach for 2 months now and last night set another personal best in her event: 24' 2.5" , which was good enough for her to take first place in the event. She has seen something she has wanted come to fruition, but it took some time to get there.

First Posting

Finally decided to try and capture my thoughts during the day and write them down somewhere, so here it is. This will cover everything that goes on in my tiny little world as best as I can. Things like what God might be doing, how the track season is progressing for 2 of my children and maybe even some fun random things as well.

Feel free to comment or whatever, I love hearing from friends.....