Walking Through Life God's Way

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Undeserved!


Grace means to get something that you do not deserve; unmerited favor.  Mercy means you do not get a punishment that you deserve; compassion, forbearance. God is abundant in grace and mercy and we can read about it in the Bible. Declaring the Lord’s Death grants us a deeper love for Jesus, because we do not deserve grace. His greatest act of grace is the gift of salvation that is available for all people through faith.

Annie Johnson Flint’s life on earth could never be measured in any degree by comfort and ease; quite the contrary, from childhood her body endured the onslaught of Rheumatoid Arthritis until she could no longer rise from bed. Over the years the affliction took a great toll, leaving her with no choice but to seek some comfort from sleeping and resting on soft pillows. Her body developed serious bedsores and finally she suffered the ravages of cancer.

Yet her attitude through all the struggles with pain and confinement may best be expressed through one of her great Christian poems. Her faith in God and His purpose, reflected through these words, portray her deep commitment and disposition of hope and peace:

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

His love has no limit;
His grace has no measure.
His power has no boundary known unto men.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.

Annie Johnson Flint understood that declaring the Lord’s death was a declaration of God’s grace that gives and gives and gives again.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:1-2 states  “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.”

It is a joy to boast in God's ability to shower His creation with favor because of Jesus. May I be so bold as to share my faith and love in response. You know I love ya, Don

Monday, January 27, 2014

A declaration for love, faith, and a future!


This past week we celebrated the Birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was the leader of the civil right movement. He took a strong stand for the dream that all people should have equal opportunities in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There is a marker in Washington D.C. that is located on 1964 Independence Ave. The location of the Marker is significant in that is was chosen to acknowledge the key role Dr. King played in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It also marks the year he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Last Sunday was the National Sanctity of Life Sunday. Over one Million Abortions are performed in the USA a year. This is down significantly from what it was, but the cherishing of the life of a baby is still at risk. Thus, we memorialize the loss of life and what could have been. This week there were marches in Washington D.C. and throughout the country seeking to speak for the life of an unborn child.

When someone dies, we place a marker on the resting place as a means of remembering our loved one. It marks the place we can return to and recall the memories. It also allows for us to have a place to meditate, cry, and embrace the sorrow that so fills our lives. We remember so as to move forward.

How we act is a direct reflection on our faith. The events we treasure are that which define our actions and give meaning to who we are. This is why it is important to be devoted to Breaking of Bread...Eucharist...Lord's Supper...Communion. This act of taking bread and juice as symbolic representation of Jesus Body and Blood is a sacramental act that is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible reality.

This action is a reminder of our sins, of how much Jesus loves us, that our faith is real, and that he has prepared a path for us that will guide us through all eternity.

You know I love ya, Don 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fellowship is God’s Grace powerfully at work in Generosity.

Generosity is a “willingness to give money, help, or time freely.” Acts 4:32 also states, “No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” God’s grace at work in the believer creates a desire to be generous.
A few weeks ago this report was in the headlines: The happiest server at Cracker Barrel in Lincoln, Nebraska, walked away from work with even more to smile about after receiving a life-changing tip last week.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, a man stopped in with a friend for lunch at the restaurant on Thursday and asked the hostess to seat them at the table of the restaurant’s grumpiest server because the pair wanted to use their charm to cheer someone up. The hostess responded that the chain actually didn't have a single dispirited employee and instead gave them the opposite — their happiest waitress.

The server sent to table 222 was 18-year-old Abigail Sailors, who submitted to questions from the two men about why she had such a sunny disposition. Throughout their lunch, Sailors told the patrons her story.

A sailor, the youngest of five children, was tossed around the foster care system throughout her childhood. She and her older siblings were separated and reunited multiple times, and suffered from abuse for years until John and Susi Sailors took all five of them in nine years ago.

Flash-forward to today and Sailors recently completed her first semester at Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, North Dakota. The freshman, who plays basketball and is studying psychology and youth ministry, pays for her own education. She told her inquisitive customers that she didn’t have enough money to return for the spring semester and is saving wages and tips for future tuition.

The pair left a $100 tip that was split with another Cracker Barrel server, but the best part of Sailor's day was yet to come: One of the men revealed that he was a Trinity alumnus and pulled out his checkbook. He wrote the young student two checks — one for $5,000 to the school and another for $1,000 for whatever else she needed. 

Proverbs 11:24 states: “One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
                                                            another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.”

Strongly leaning toward Fellowship is God’s Grace powerfully at work in Generosity. The question then becomes….are you a generous person? Do you give freely so as to lift others up and share what God has blessed you with so that God’s grace can be evident in your life?

You know I love ya, Don

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fellowship is God’s Grace powerfully at work in Unity.


Unity is the “condition of being one.” The early believers were committed and devoted to living as one unit for the kingdom of Jesus. Acts 4:32 states; “All the believers were one in heart and mind.” The newly discovered faith transformed thousands of people from individuals to living, breathing, and being as one group of people for the cause of loving God and loving each other. 

Later, the Apostle Paul would plead with the Corinthians church. 1 Corinthians 1:10 states, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” The recognition of God’s grace, His favor on your life, empowers followers of Jesus to strongly lean toward unity.

The power of God’s grace brings followers of Jesus to a place that is perfectly united in mind and thought. Do you seek what is best for your fellow believers or do you desire to know how church can best serve you?

You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hungry for the Transformation....


Followers of Jesus should be the old game, Hungry, Hungry Hippo. The goal of the game that each play gets a hippo to catch up as many marbles as possible. Christian that are strong toward the Apostle’s teaching should be like the hippo quickly seeking to get every nugget of truth from God’s word.
Sins damage the human soul. Transformation is the hunger from deep within the belly of a believer seeking to know more of God and his ways. Acts 20:1 states, "On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight." Paul was leaving the next day they hungered for the word…so they listen all night long. It is like being out doing physical labor or exercise for a long period of time without food. Deep within your stomach is this urgent call for good food…when you get that hungry there is no desire for junk food only the nourishment that comes from quality food.
The Apostles lived as Jesus lived and followed him for three years. They possessed the knowledge and experience of the tangible life of Jesus. The Holy Spirit guided them in mentoring others as Jesus had mentored them. The new believers embraced mentoring while establishing disciple making as a major pillar in the infrastructure of this new sect within the Jewish faith. 
    The Holy Spirit within a believer encourages the heart and mind to know more about Jesus on a personal level. Jesus was set apart to accomplish the will of God. The Holy Spirit sets the believer apart as a demonstration of transformation. The Holy Spirit sets that church apart as the church sets out to impact the surrounding environment. The Christian theologian, John Stott describes, “They sat at the apostles' feet, hungry to receive instruction, and they persevered in it.”[1] Discipleship for the early believers was to take that which was forming within their own being and share it with others.

You know I love ya, Don


[1]          John Stott. The Spirit The Church and The World (Downers Grove, IL.: Intervarsity, 1990), 82.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Being Elevated to Save our life!


Developing a habitual commitment to study and meditation on God’s word elevates the believer to a place of heighten awareness of God’s purpose and a keen awareness of right living. It is the ability to discern right from wrong. It is the absolute truth of God’s revelation. The bible is God’s letter of love and grace to you and to your abundance in living.

Airplane and a rat! An airplane pilot was flying his plane one day when he heard a scratching sound behind him. Knowing he was the only one on board, he quickly realized that it must be a rat. Putting on his oxygen mask, he began to increase altitude and continued this until the scratching and gnawing sounds stopped. After concluding his flight, the aviator searched his plane and found the dead body of the rat next to a hydraulic line that was almost chewed into. He had killed it by taking it to an altitude where there wasn’t enough oxygen to sustain its life. Had he not done so, that little rat could have taken the pilots life. 
 
When we study the truths of the apostle’s teaching, we elevate ourselves to a place that eliminates the unrighteousness from our lives. Hebrews 4:12 states, “ For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

You know I love ya...Don

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Transforming me in 2014: Pursuing personal experiences with God

A few moments in the presence of God will change anyone.  Sometimes God just shows up on His own initiate and changes people.  However, He has also given us several places to meet with Him and experience Him…if we are looking for Him.  We can experience God in what we commonly call the spiritual disciplines.  (Prayer, meditation, the Bible, silence, solitude, giving, serving, worship, fellowship with other Christians, fasting, etc.)  Spending time with God allows Him to customize us to abundant life.

Jesus said in John 15:4, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

 Cling to the truth…always forgive…resist temptation…pursue God…goals for transformation!

You know I love ya, Don

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tranforming me in 2014: Resisting evil influences


Resisting evil influences

The true test and temptation is not what you do with your weakness. You know your weakness. You know what you do not have. You have no choice but to stand in humility because you are weak in that area.  You and I have a choice when it comes to our weakness… we can fight it and let it take over or you can recognize it is a weakness and go through the fire and suffer. You are powerless in the situation. The true test in temptation is what do you do with what you have? 
 
What you have is what power you have. This is why people who have nothing will lie, steal, and cheat to get something. They have nothing so they must find a way to gain the power to make their own choices. 

It is what you have that truly draws in your temptation. How do you handle this opportunity? Do you use it for your own good or for the good of others. It is not about how you handle broke with your tithe…10% of broke is still broke! It is about how you handle what you have been given and do you give with an open heart that says it all belongs to God and 10% is His portion…. or do you keep strings attached to what God has given you.

You have Internet at your house…you have the power of the world wide web. How you use it is your test. 

“Having” opens responsibility and that opens the influence of temptation…Do you show off so everyone can see what super Christian you are…when you resist evil influences you never have to prove what you already are.

James 4:7 states; “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Satan and his minions are like hackers who are constantly trying to insert bad software into your mind.  We must learn how to identify them, remove them and shut down their access points into our lives. Resisting temptation is hard work and it is hard to remain faithful when all we think on is the sin.

Cling to the truth…always forgive…resist temptation…Seeking transformation in 2014. You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Transforming me in 2014: Practicing all aspects of authentic forgiveness


Sins damage the human soul.  Education does not bring healing.  Practicing forgiveness does! Forgiveness is the key to freedom. Fully receiving God’s forgiveness, effectively forgiving other people and sincerely asking others to forgive us allows God to heal the damage caused by sin.
 Colossians 1:13-14 says; “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Practicing forgiveness is like having someone repair damaged hardware in your computer. The truth has new meaning when you truly forgive those around you. This is the activity most commonly left unattended and hinders transformation.
Developing a lifestyle of forgiveness is essential to life-transformation and spiritual formation.
Seeking transformation in 2014...You know I love ya, Don