Faith & Reason ... a mystery

Monday, January 30, 2012

Are you engaged?


"Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: 'Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say'." - Acts 2:14

Peter = a fisherman, a follower of Jesus, at the transfiguration, witness of many miracles, Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter – where Jesus used the name to describe the future stability of the church as a rock. Peter denied Jesus three times, saw his crucifixion from a distance, and ran to the tomb to see if his body had risen from the grave. Peter was questioned by Jesus three times and Jesus told Peter “to feed my sheep.” Peter presented the first sermon in the new kingdom on Pentecost and presented the Gospel to the first gentiles. Peter the evangelist and preacher, the fisher of men.

Peter was a man touched by God and engaged for God's purpose of preach and proclaiming Jesus Christ! How can we be in engage? The answer is in the living of life. We can know God and know abundance in living by trusting in Jesus, study and application of His word, and with total submission to His guidance in life. Just like Peter, we too can be engaged in God's kingdom through the actions of trusting, study, and submitting.


Are you engaged? That question can mean many things...such as marriage, or driving a car or involved in the perfectness of God's purpose and presentation of life. I am engaged. I was engaged to Karen...now she is my wife. I engaged driving on my 16th birthday...now I regularly following the laws of driving a vehicle. I am engaged in loving God, loving others, and loving life...one day will come when I will see Jesus. Much like Peter, I follow through and be a follower of Jesus.

You know I love ya...be engaged! Don

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Faith to make it!!!

"Most of the actions of the church are based on what "we" (the church) think we can do verses the basis of faith and what God can do!!!"

Monday, January 23, 2012

Seeking the Mission Impossible!!!


“[Ask, Seek, Knock] “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
This morning in worship service, we talked about the power of the Holy Spirit. We ask and seek, yet, we do not truly ask for what God is seeking in us. In the above Matthew text, we see Jesus telling us to ask and seek, and the door will truly be open. R.A. Burridge is his book, "Imitating Jesus" states, "Since the Gospels are a portrait of a person, they must be interpreted with a biographical focus upon their subject, Jesus of Nazareth." So, if Jesus is telling us to "ask" and it will be given and "knock" and the door will be opened, it seems reasonable we should....so in view of what Jesus is and what is revealed in His biography...what are we asking? where are we knocking?

A Christ-follower who truly desires to serve the Christ "he/she" loves will discover Jesus and the "person" Jesus is by briefly discovering the biography of Jesus' character in His compassion, His sacrifice and His love for people. Jesus' character was about a driving purpose. That purpose was to live a life of compassion, heal the sick and hurting, and give of his life. Jesus' sacrifice was all inclusive for a fallen creation. He was and is our sacrificial lamb. He was the holy, spotless lamb that was given in our place so that death could be removed forever. Finally, Jesus' love was and is still pleading our case so that we might not stand trial for the death we deserve. He was willing to take on our punishment because of His love for us.

Could it be that we do not have the faith to truly ask or knock. This is not about a wealth gospel, but truly in serving the God we profess to love and want to serve. Yesterday the statement was made, "when we seek the spiritual we forget to seek the One who specializes in the impossible." I could not agree more. God will reveal himself to us in service when we are in prayer and seeking His kingdom. It is then we discover the true nature of Jesus and then we want to give of our hearts, minds, and strength in connecting people to Jesus.

Thus, we seek and knock from the truth of love, redemption, and sacrifice by appealing to the God of mission impossible. We appeal to the God who specializes in the impossible. God is able to bring everything to perfect completion.

So, let me ask you,
"What are you asking and to whom are you asking?" "On what door are you knocking?"

I seek His kingdom so that we might all experience the impossible. Won't you join me? You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Integrity & Preservation & Choices


"But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity ..." (Ps. 26:11).

Integrity is missing in so much of our culture these day. The church and its members must rise to the occasions start "walking in mine integrity." By integrity as a Christlike trait, I do not mean simply sincerity or honesty; integrity rather according to the meaning of the word as its derivation interprets it--complete--wholeness--soundness: that which Christ means when He says, "If thine eye be single or sound, thy whole body shall be full of light."

Christian integrity extends through the complete or wholeness of the character. It is found in small matters as well as great; for the allegiance of the soul to truth is tested by small things rather than by those which are more important. We think that we hate falsehood when we are only hating the consequences of falsehood. We resent hypocrisy, and treachery and deception, not because they are untrue, but because they harm us. We hate the falseness of fake integrity, but we are half pleased with the false praise. It is evidently not the element of untruth here that is displeasing, but the element of harmfulness.

The Christian servant is a person of integrity who hates untruth as untruth: who resents the smooth and polished falsehood of society which does no harm, but deceives the excellence of life. The Christlike integrity turns in indignation from the glittering whitened lie. Integrity recoils from deceptions. So even when things are going bad, winners perform with integrity.

But as for me, I will walk in my integrity!”

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rise Up and Be a Man!


One of my heroes is Joseph. He was the step-father of Jesus and he was a Man of God. You can read his story in Mathew 1:18-25. I have always felt that the reality of his choices to follow God would be starting to get hard about a three to four weeks after Jesus was born...right about now after Christmas. Yet, we know, Joseph of Galilee was man that remained strong and was truly a man.

So, how can we men, follow his example. One of the key verses to any Christ-Following Man is 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” What does it men to “act like men?”

I believe Joseph pondered this same question? What am I going to do?

1. Joseph was betrothed. He had a commitment man. He was pledge to be married. There were no sexual relations during a Jewish betrothal period, but it was just as binding as a marriage and MUCH more than a modern engagement. Joseph and Mary were husband and wife in the eyes of all their family, friends, and society. Now she was pregnant.

2. Joseph was a righteous man. To the Jews this mean being zealous to keeping the jewish law. He would divorce her quietly. In other words he loved her enough to sign the necessary papers but to have her judged publicly and stoned to death.

3. Joseph was a listening man. The angel appeared to Him and he listened. We need to listen in order to act like men.

4. Joseph was a chosen instrument of God. All this took place to fulfill the prophecy. “Behold the virgin will be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

5. Joseph was a willing participant. Joseph did what the angel of the Lord had commanded. He kept her a virgin. Who is going to know if he did not? He followed the angel’s direction and named him Immanuel.

The question for us today is, do we act like men?

Men keep their commitments.

Men are righteous and follow the word of God.

Men listen to God, to their wives, to anyone that needs to be heard.

Men are God’s chosen instruments.

Men are willing to go where God is leading.

Join me in striving to be a man...you know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

500 Posts on the Blog

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV

When I started this blog, I never thought I would reach 500 posts. In fact, I thought it would only last a few weeks and then I would discover what I was looking to do in enhancing my devotional walk. It did not take long for me to realize that the blogging was going to be a new aspect of my life as well as a new ministry God was going to bless. It has been a joy, at times work, and for the most part a blessing.

Thank You for sharing God's word with me. It has allowed us to love God and to learn of His great compassion and power for living. Thank You for letting me share my family with you. The joy of growing children, the love of people around us, and the sorrow of losing people we love, including a very precious little boy and our third son, Nicholas ... are all heightened in knowing you are apart of it all. Thank You for loving life. It is in the loving of life that the abundance of God is truly recognized. Life is a blessing we should never take for granted.

So here is to another 500 posts and wonderful people that take the time to read and try to increase their love for God, love for each other and love for life. As I have said in the past and will continue to say, "As long as you keep reading, I will keep writing." I have also found great pleasure in telling the readers the truth by letting you know, "I love ya!"

Sincerely Yours in Christ Jesus,
Don

Monday, January 9, 2012

Married for 13 years...we made it!


Matthew 7:24-27

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”


We made it to year thirteen. Yes, Karen and I have been married for 13 years as of today. I remember the day very well. We had to be married in Gatlinburg, TN because the church of was serving in Sevierville, TN was too small to handle the amount of people that were in attendance. There was a light snow the night before and the mountains were absolutely beautiful. It was a great service and there is nothing like watching your bride come down the isle. My mother and family were all dressed up and gave great support. I did not know Karen's family well then, but they were there all along and it was a start of something good and I know I am a member of the family. I certainly, was blessed that day.

We would honeymoon in Virginia, not knowing that God would open doors for us to serve a church only 70 miles away a year later. We served Gethsemane Church of Christ for 6 years. In those years, we grew together and we would have Matthew and Alice. It was in those years the house would endure storms. Struggles with family, illness, and Matthew's heart surgery would blow against our relationship...yet, with a foundation on God's love we truly have experienced the solid rock. There were some very sunny days in Virginia as well...we became parents.

We have been in Indiana for 5 years and there have been more storms of life. Most notably, Nicholas' death. It was and is the hardest thing we have ever hard to endure...again, God's foundation has remained sturdy and supported us in the storm. There have been growing pains as well. As we grow as a couple, challenges to family and to each other have risen. We look at each other and make a conscience choice to Praise God in the storm while knowing His grace is more than we deserve and His power will sustain us in the great times and the hard times. And yes, there have been some very sunny days in Indiana as well...we became parents again.

Once might ask, how do I get a foundation that is solid? It comes in knowing Jesus Christ on a personal, radical, and relational level. He is the one true God and He will give you peace in every storm. He does not say it will be easy...in fact, Karen and I both would say, "Being married is a very hard thing." Merging two lives is not meant to be easy. The foundation of Jesus in a daily walk of knowing Him, studying the Scriptures, and dedicating oneself to breaking of bread and prayer is the foundation that endures every storm. We can testify to it and recommend it in every marriage.

To you, Karen. I love you and thank you for being my wife for the last 13 years. I am looking forward to another 13 and many more beyond that. You are a blessing and gift to me. I love you.

To the rest of you, build your house on the foundation of Jesus...His foundation will endure every storm. Trust me, I know.

You know I love ya, Don