Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thy rod and staff comfort me...

Psalm 23:4. I've always wondered about this scripture. My idea of a rod and staff was a little negative and perhaps naive in my understanding. What do you think? Could a rod and staff comfort you? Let me delve in here a little deeper.

Rod comes from the word "shebet", it's definition?...From an unused root probably meaning to branch off; a scion, i.e. (literally) a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.) Or (figuratively) a clan -- X correction, dart, rod, sceptre, staff, tribe.

So it's a stick that shows status, as a sheepherder but also as a stick for punishing, fighting, ruling... How is that supposed to comfort me?

So I had to dig and rearrange my understanding. This whole Psalm shows a beautiful picture of Christ "leading us to still waters...laying us down in green pastures" where does the rod and staff come in.

So here it is. Yes, the definition of rod is true above but the rod and staff are the picture of Christ protecting us. The rod and staff are used on our enemies to protect us. The staff is used to gather us up to Him when we stray.

The comfort comes from visualizing His strength and those tools He carries. We are comforted by seeing them in His hand. We will know that He is in charge and He will do what He can to keep us from wandering.

I can see it now (however, I see it in more 21st century tools, more like the terminator, not the bad one, but the good one here to save)

The rod and staff DO comfort me. I hope they comfort you too.

Thanks for letting me share.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Finding the answers you need in the Bible.

Thank God for Al Gore's invention of the internet. J/k and if you don't understand it, it's an old joke, but I digress.

Although I'm a big proponent of reading the Bible, I have a tendency to get a little lost. Sometimes when I'm looking for a passage that I know exists in scripture, but I can't remember the address, I get a little overwhelmed.

But God still prevails and has given us another tool. The internet and now smart phones. The ability to type in what the scripture says and find it's address is the best thing ever. I never thought I would go into church with my phone in my hand to follow and look up scripture as the pastor is reading it off. I currently use the youversion.com Bible app. I can look up the scripture in a number of translations...(this is needed because our pastor likes the NKJV, I like the NASB and our small group leader uses the NIV.) It seems convoluted but in reality it is very cool. Reading the different translations allows me to see the subtle differences and the different in wording for a better understanding of what It's (Bible) trying to tell me.

Now don't get me wrong, reading the Bible in it's entirety is highly recommended. Not only from me but God himself. How else are you going to know what He wants to tell you. 2 Tim 3:16.

But using the internet and your smart phone to continue your pursuit for the Kingdom, is an awesome app.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

God's timing vs. mine...

Okay, so they're a bit different...well...a lot different. I'm not good at waiting. I'm learning to wait, but I'm still not good at it.

When I get the first sound of a plan that I think is God inspired, I want to move...now...not later, let's just GO!

But that is rarely the plan God has. He has set in motion certain things in my life but I want to treat it like I build a piece of IKEA furniture. I can look at the picture and easily decipher how to put it together to make it look like the picture. "Who needs to read all the instructions? Tab A goes to Slot A, let's GO"

But God wants me to look at all the instructions. How about you? Do you ever feel the need, want, or experience hurry-ness to get done what you think God wants to do in your life without waiting for the full instructions? Do you get impatient with the waiting? Feel like your chomping at the bit waiting to race off and do all this good for God instead of waiting for His next nudging?

Yeah me too. So I have to remember, "and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;" 2Peter 1:6.

Thanks for letting me share.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It should be more like falling in love...

A song by Jason Gray. The first lines are something I fight with a lot.
"Give me rules
I will break them
Show me lines
I will cross them

I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves and breathes

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance."

Over the last few years, I've forgotten that part...but solely due to the fact of my exhaustion with the events, trials and tribulations. I have kept suiting up, even when I didn't want to, I served when I thought I didn't have the energy to do so and showed support when I needed to but didn't know how.

It's not that I lost my love for Jesus, in fact that I relied solely on His energy because I had none left to give. Picture the footprints in the sand poem.

So today, with what I believe (know) as a fresh new start and a place that I know (believe) that God wants me. I will focus more on my falling in love again with my savior Jesus Christ!

Thanks for letting me share.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trusting in God. Whenever...

So, if you haven't heard, we moved to TN. Not because we were looking for something new, not because we were tired of CA, not because we didn't spend 5 years looking for the loophole of not leaving CA, but because God finally removed all obstacles. We've tried to avoid it but after my accident, we finally got the message.

So here we are in TN. We've started attending a new church. We've planted the roots for a new CR, and continue to water them in hopes in starting it again in May sometime. I have a new job. We have a place to live. We are able to connect with the family that was out here before on a weekly if not daily basis.

Things are going well...it's been 3 months.

My idea of change though is like that of a horse in a starting gate. I want things to happen...now, change...now. I'm not equipped to wait. Either put me in a rut, or change things before I can get in the rut...but please do it quickly.

So a new level of trusting God is upon me. To fervently believe that He has a plan ( I know...it sounds familiar if you've been reading my blog, because I think sometimes I am the only one that He keeps off on the sideline.) But after saying all that, I earnestly want a glimpse into what God has planned for me and my family. I see patches of brightness periodically when I think...yeah this is it, but more often than not I see fields of grey, wondering when it's all gonna take flight.

As I've said, my dream and vision is to become a recovery Pastor somewhere, somehow. And that dream keeps me from getting excited about anything else. It seems like it's the cookie jar on the top shelf that I just can't get to.

So back to the title of today's ramblings. I MUST learn and practice to Trust in God whenever, always, no matter what. Why is that so hard for me? I dunno exactly, but today I'm thankful for where I've been and done and I'm looking forward to when He finally shows me the whole thing.

Thanks for letting me share.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Faith. What is it?

I've been thinking of this word called faith and I decided to look it up and do some research.

The word faith comes from the greek. From peitho; persuasion, i.e. Credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself -- assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

So faith is a word to describe being persuaded into belief. So how does one persuade one to faith? It comes from hearing something and being compelled to believe it by the authority of the presenter.

When I was a child, I had faith that whatever my parents told me was true. I had faith that they would not deceive me. That's the kind of faith our Father in heaven is looking for in us. That childlike faith, that credence.

But here's the thing...as I started getting older yet not necessarily wiser, I started putting my faith, my credence in the world. I started believing what the world was promising. Unending happiness, joy and contentment...as long as I was buying or wanting the most updated thing. "I'll be happier with this new Iphone4g because the commercial tells me it's better then the previous 4 I phone versions. It's always better to have the best, the newest right?"

In return for our faith, God has His part in this as well. The greek word emunah means faithfulness. It has the meaning of firmness, steadfastness, fidelity. So with our faith, we are rewarded with faithfulness from the Father.

And on the other foot, even without faith, God still is emunah. He is steadfast and firm.

So is it bad that your faith fails you sometimes? Will God look down and say, "There goes Joe again...lost his faith...I guess I don't have to faithful anymore"? No...you see it's synergistic. We believe and have faith and we see His faithfulness and His steadfast and firm faithfulness helps our faith.

Take that step today, no matter what your circumstance. Plug into God's faithfulness and He will help with your faith whether it be strong or crumbling right now. He's always there and He will always be there.

Thanks for letting me share.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dream on it's way...

Okay, so I haven't posted anything in awhile but I have been in a transition period.

For the longest time, I have had had this dual personality. I have believed in my heart that God has a plan for me, in fact I told a lot of people the same thing...but something buried inside my head refused to believe it. Sometimes if I were to read a promise I would add the few words..."except for Joe".

Life has been troublesome over the last few years that's true...but there has been a purpose. I believe it was God's way of telling me to fully rely on Him.

I have planning issues. I NEED to know how to go about things. I HAVE to put the pieces together so I can understand it. I have been working so hard on trying to figure things out that I've missed the point up to now.

I'm not supposed to figure it out. I either have to believe in my head AND heart that God's promises will come true or not. There no such thing as a lukewarm believer and I believe that's where I was at.

Revelation 3:16 says: " So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

It continues though, 19. "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
20. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
21. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.


I believe that God gave me a dream of what He wants me to be. A Recovery Pastor. Leading men and women into a life full of grace: Eph 3: 19-21 "and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
21. to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."


And though I don't know how He's going to accomplish this...because sometimes all I can see is the impossible, I know He can do it today. Matthew 19:26 ASV
And Jesus looking upon [them] said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. I am thankful for the fact that He has readied me to do this and I am excited about the plans He has for me.

Thanks for letting me share.