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!