Sunday, May 31, 2009
How can I show my love for Him in a way that makes Him feel loved? What is His "love language"?
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
God has always demanded honor. After all, He IS God, what else SHOULD He expect? And God interprets honor in terms of obedience. If you claim to honor God but do not obey Him, He is not honored.
God created Adam in order to enjoy fellowship with him and God was honored through being in perfect relationship with Adam. Adam was honored through being the crowning touch of God’s creation. God further honored Adam by creating a companion for him. Adam and Even were to honor each other and together they were to honor God. When they did, life was………well, perfect!
We can see that honor is the foundation upon which healthy relationships are built. Is it any wonder that the wedding vows include the promise to “love, honor, and obey”? Honor and obedience strengthens relationship. Failure to obey dishonors a partner and weakens the relationship.
You can trace all of the sin and shame that pollutes human nature to the moment when Adam & Even dishonored God by disobeying Him with the forbidden fruit. They were urged to do so by the Serpent, Satan, the master of dishonor. He convinced them that they could disobey God without dishonoring Him. They were wrong! Dead wrong.
The immediate result of Adam and Even dishonoring God was their sense of shame. That was evidenced when they hid from God and made coverings for themselves. And as their ancestors, we inherited their shame and disobedient nature.
Does obedience really matter? It does if you want to honor God! You cannot honor God while you are disobeying Him. That is a devil of an idea.
You were created to honor God through obedience. Shame on you if you don’t!
The Deal: God is not honored by your good intentions, He is honored by your obedience.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through. Did you hear that, the other team's fans?
They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, "Go Tornadoes!" Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.
It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.
"I never in my life thought I'd hear people cheering for us to hit their kids," recalls Gainesville's QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. "I wouldn't expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!" And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he'd just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.
But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That's because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.
This all started when Faith's head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents. Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery—many of whose families had disowned them—wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.
So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth." Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan's office and asked, "Coach, why are we doing this?"
And Hogan said, "Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you." Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before - hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!
"I thought maybe they were confused," said Alex, a Gainesville lineman (only first names are released by the prison). "They started yelling 'DEE-fense!' when their team had the ball. I said, 'What? Why they cheerin' for us?'"
It was a strange experience for boys who most people cross the street to avoid. "We can tell people are a little afraid of us when we come to the games," says Gerald, a lineman who will wind up doing more than three years. "You can see it in their eyes. They're lookin' at us like we're criminals. But these people, they were yellin' for us! By our names!"
Maybe it figures that Gainesville played better than it had all season, scoring the game's last two touchdowns. Of course, this might be because Hogan put his third-string nose guard at safety and his third-string cornerback at defensive end. Still.
After the game, both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray and that's when Isaiah surprised everybody by asking to lead. "We had no idea what the kid was going to say," remembers Coach Hogan. But Isaiah said this: "Lord, I don't know how this happened, so I don't know how to say thank You, but I never would've known there was so many people in the world that cared about us."
And it was a good thing everybody's heads were bowed because they might've seen Hogan wiping away tears. As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.
The Gainesville coach saw Hogan, grabbed him hard by the shoulders and said, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know."
And as the bus pulled away, all the Gainesville players crammed to one side and pressed their hands to the window, staring at these people they'd never met before, watching their waves and smiles disappearing into the night.
Wow! Do people feel like that as they leave FWC on Sunday?
Discipleship is a walk, a very distinctive walk, patterned after the life and teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Discipleship is taking a stand for what is right and what is healthy. Where does one get the strength to stand and to walk? From the nourishment that is received daily in the dining room!
I have been accused of having a distinctive walk.
One time Barbara and I were attending a large interdenominational conference in Colorado Springs. We were a few minutes late as we entered the huge auditorium where the evening service was being held. They had already brought the house lights down making it difficult to spot the empty seats. As we were cautiously making our way down the aisle I heard a voice whisper, “Brad! Brad Snyder! Is that you?” It was a couple that I had not seen in years! We quickly arranged to meet after the service.
As we came together later that evening, I asked them how they could recognize me in such a large crowd in a dark auditorium. They chuckled, “Are you kidding? We would recognize that walk anywhere!”
I was glad they did because it was good to see them and we had a great time!
If you had squatted behind the plate to catch as many baseball games as I have, you might walk funny, too!
Actually, I am not sure I can get off the hook that easily because unfortunately, my younger son walks that way, too.
Even more unfortunately, my daughter kind of does, too. You could pick them each out of a crowd.
Seriously, it does matter how we walk. It especially matters how we walk in our spiritual walk. People do notice. So does God.
Just as my kids have a walk like mine, God calls His children to walk like Jesus. People ought to be able to recognize us as His kids by the way we walk.
That walk is often referred to as “discipleship”.
Have you ever played “Follow the Leader”? I am sure you have!
What happens in that game? One person is designated as the leader and everyone else must do exactly what the leader does! Those who follow the leader win the game and those who don’t lose.
Can you see the similarity to discipleship? As disciples we are called to walk in the path of Jesus as we follow the Leader.
If you can win at “Follow the Leader”, you have what it takes to be a disciple. It will just require regular trips to the dining room!
Here at FredWes, we are committed to spending ample time with you in the dining room so we can give you an HD understanding of how to walk as a disciple and then, eventually, lead others in that distinctive walk.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The same is true in golf. A golfer lives to catch one on the "sweet spot" and hear that unmistakeable sound and watch the amazing way the ball flies straight and long!
Once you find the "sweet spot" on the bat or on the club, you try your best to hit the ball there every time you swing it!
I thought of that because as I was reading in the first few chapters of John I was noticing all the miracles that Jesus was doing while in Galilee. His first miracle was at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. One of his first converts was a woman at a well while on His way to Galilee. That conversion brought a revival to that area of Samaria in the region near Galilee.
Noticing that I did some research and found out that about 75% of Jesus' recorded miracles happened in Galilee. See the map above and notice the red triangle, it marks Jesus' ministry
His disciples also came from that area. John the Baptist had preceded Him in that area. I'm sure those two factors contributed to His high rate of results in that area. I'm going to do more investigation and see what other factors were involved.
It begs the question, "Did Jesus focus His ministry here because it was a "sweet spot" or did it become a "sweet spot" because He focused His ministry there. I suspect it was a little of both. That also merits further research.
But, for the purpose of this article, I want to concentrate on this thought about ministry "sweet spots". I believe everyone has one. Sometimes it is a geographical area, sometimes it is a ministry gift or anointing, sometimes it is ministry partner or team, sometimes it all the above.
Jesus had three years to accomplish His mission on earth. He couldn't afford to spend it in His "sweet spot". Even though your mission is more extended, you can't affor to waste time or efforts. So, know your "sweet spot".
What is your "sweet spot"? Where is it? Are you there? What must you do to get there?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
In Acts 1:8, the last words of Jesus before He left Planet Earth were “…..you shall be my witnesses….”
You see, the issue for every Christian is not, “Will you be a witness?” The issue is, “What sort of witness are you?”
Since your actions, words and attitudes are witnessing every day to the people you work around, live around, do business with, or play around, God thinks it is important to get it right. Your witness is either drawing people closer to believing in Christ or driving them further away from faith.
Wouldn’t you like to learn how to turn your witness into evangelism opportunities? Since you will be witnessing anyway, why not learn to make it count for the Kingdom of God?
In the Scripture lesson today, you will pick up some tips from the Master Evangelist, Himself. Learn these and live these and you, too, can become a soul-winner!
Pray For Lost People
Prayerfully take the time to sit down and write the names of five lost people you long to see come to faith in Christ. Pray for their salvation every day.
My Target List
Claim Their Salvation:
Pray according to I John 5:13-15 –
Pray according to II Peter 3:9 –
Pray For Divine Appointments
Ask God to arrange opportunities to have meaningful encounters with lost people that day. Expect Him to do it!
Then, learn from Jesus in John 4:
Be Intentional, John 4:1-5
Jesus went way out of his way to end up in a little town in Samaria.
Why was this unusual?
What did He have in mind?
Be Strategic, John 4:6
Jesus knew that respectable people, church-going folks, came to draw water in the morning and in the evening. Only outcasts came to the well in the heat of the day.
Why do you suppose Jesus wanted to be there at the hottest part of the day?
If you want to reach lost people, should you wait and pray that they come to you or should you develop a strategy to be where they are?
Be Inconvenienced, John 4:6
Jesus walked out of his way to sit in the hot sun and wait around for a thirsty person to show up.
Ask, “When was the last time I made time to connect with an unsaved person?”
Be Engaging, John 4:7-15
Discuss ways that Jesus engaged this woman in a conversation. What was the result? What are some keys to engaging others in a spiritual conversation?
Be Transparent, John 4:9-15
Be willing to share your testimony. Talk about how your faith has helped you in your real life battles.
Write out your testimony into a two or three minute presentation and memorize it show you are ready to share.
Be Graciously Bold, John 4:16-26
Jesus lovingly confronted her with her need for salvation and didn’t allow her objections to throw Him off track. He showed her how she could find peace and joy in her life.
Know a step-by-step soul-winning plan so you are prepared to lead someone to faith in Christ. Ask Pastor Brad or any of the pastors to help you with this.
Don’t force the opportunity to present the Gospel, but be politely persistent with them, as Jesus was with this woman. If they continue to resist, graciously thank them and tell them how much you enjoyed spending this time with them. Let them know you always welcome the chance to talk about spiritual issues.
Continue to pray for their salvation.
This story had a happy ending. This dear woman put her faith in Christ and was so transformed by Him that she became a witness to her entire village! Because of her witness many others believed.
Not all of Jesus’ encounters had happy endings. Neither will yours. But He was always a good witness and He always worked these eight steps into His daily routine.
Will you be willing to become a better witness?
You can incorporate these steps into your daily routine without seriously changing your schedule. Why wouldn’t you do this?
When will you begin?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Reading in John 3 this morning I was reminded of an encounter Jesus had with a religious leader named Nicodemus.
Despite being a religious professional, Nicodemus recgonized a spiritual void in his life. He didn't know what was missing but he knew Who to ask. He went to Jesus under the cover of darkness.
I doubt if he was prepared for what Jesus told him. "Nicodemus, you are alive but you're dead."
Confusing? It was for Nicodemus. He didn't get it.
Jesus clarified, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
Nicodemus still didn't comprehend, "How can I be born when I am old? There is no way I can climb back into my mother's womb!"
Now he was fully engaged! Jesus explained that just like we are born physically, we must have a spiritual birth as well! We are born into this life spiritually dead because of the sin nature we inherit from Adam. Spiritually dead means that we cannot connect with God because He is holy and He is a spirit while we are sinful and of the flesh.
As a religious leader, Nicodemus should have known that. But give him credit, he was teachable. When Jesus explained how he could become fully alive, Nicodemus discovered the great joy of being "born again"! He entered the Kingdom of God!
How about you? Are you fully alive - physically alive but spiritually dead?
It is time for a birthday, or a "rebirth day". Learn from Nicodemus. It is not about being religious it is about being reborn. Stop trusting your goodness and your works and receive the "gift" of salvation - Jesus, the Christ!
Monday, May 11, 2009
That reminds me of motherhood! Mothers have a lot of marbles that there are trying to move from one home to the next – while trying not to lose their marbles in the process! What marbles am I talking about?
THE ME MARBLE - THE MARRIAGE MARBLE - THE MOTHERHOOD MARBLE AND - THE MAKING A LIVING MARBLE
How do you move those marbles, get them all home and not lose your marbles?
They will all fit if you put them in the proper order. To do that you must add one more marble – THE MASTER MARBLE
THE MASTER MARBLE – “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…
COMMIT TO HIS WILL – For You, For Marriage, For Motherhood, For Career
COMMIT TO HIS WORD – Let it be a lamp and a light
COMMIT TO HIS WAY – Live Out His Will And His Word
COMMIT TO HIS WISDOM – For Marriage, For Motherhood
THE ME MARBLE – PLAY THE MASTER MARBLE FIRST….
ELIZABETH CORCORAN shares this experience:
Four – year old Sara, had asked to pray before our breakfast this morning. That is quite typical of her. I think it's more her penchant to take charge than her avid spiritual growth as of yet. But I happily obliged as it still does something to my heart to hear that little girl of mine talk to our Heavenly Father. She started off per usual. Thank You for mommy, thank You for daddy, thank You for Jack. Then she added, and thank You for me.
She has yet to come across that place in life where you feel silly or full of yourself in bringing any sort of attention to who you are as a person. As adults, we'd probably be a bit taken aback to hear a fellow pray-er at our Bible study thank God for herself. But if you think about…I think the situation is less that she hasn't quite learned prayer etiquette, and more that she may know more than we as grown-ups do. Why not thank God for ourselves? He made us as much as He made the other people we thank Him for. We have as much value as those other people do. And I bet, if we began to sprinkle our prayers every now and then with a small "thank you for me," I just bet we'd start to see our value though His eyes. And that wouldn't be such a bad thing.
She then moved on to the rest of her list of thanks. Sara has not yet progressed much past the thanksgiving kind of prayers. She doesn't ask God for anything. She doesn't confess much either. (That will need to come…) She just thanks Him. And today, I noticed exactly what she was thanking Him for. She went through her routine of thanking Him for breakfast and her pretty clothes, saying, "Thank You that I'm beautiful again today" (no self-esteem issues with this little girl).
Now, I'm sure she wasn't hoping to teach me some huge theological lesson in that moment…but wow, did she ever. What if I stopped, just for a day even, asking God for stuff? Asking Him to fix things in my life? Asking Him to change this or that circumstance? What if--what if I just thanked Him for all of my situations as is? How might my life be different? How might I see God and my current status differently…if instead of complaining to Him or asking Him for a quick-fix, I just rested where I was at that moment…searching for His hand and for any lesson I could glean…and thanked Him for it? Maybe I'll just have to find out. – TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
THE MARRIAGE MARBLE – Next Play The Marriage Marble
I heard of a couple who, as they were paying for groceries in the check-out line, were discussing their soon to be 50th wedding anniversary, when the young cashier interjected by saying, "I can’t imagine being married to same man for 50 years!" The wife wisely replied, teaching the young girl a lesson at the same time, "Well, Honey, don’t get married until you can."
"Rules of Male-Female Relationships" 1. The Female always makes the Rules. 2. The Rules are subject to change at any time without prior notification. 3. No Male can possibly know all the Rules. 4. If the Female suspects the Male knows all the Rules, she must immediately change some or all of the Rules. 5. The Female is never wrong. 6. If the Female is wrong, it is because of a flagrant Misunderstanding, which was a direct result of something the Male did or said wrong. 7. If Rule 6 applies, the Male must apologize IMMEDIATELY for causing the Misunderstanding. 8. The Female can change her mind at any given point in time. 9. The Male must never change his mind without express written consent from the Female. 10. The Female has every right to be angry or upset at any time. 11. The Male must remain calm at all times, unless the Female wants him to be angry or upset. 12. The Female must under no circumstances let the Male know whether or not she wants him to be angry or upset. 13. Any attempt to document these Rules could result in bodily harm to the Male.
Recently, a survey was made of 200 married adults in regards to forgiveness The researchers were wondering how one’s ability to forgive others would affect their marital satisfaction and personal well-being. The results were astounding! This research suggests that there is a huge relationship between marriage satisfaction and forgiveness. In fact, it appears that as much as one third of marriage satisfaction is related to forgiveness. Not only does the ability to forgive impact the marriage relationship, it was significantly related to personal emotional distress. As forgiveness ability went up, individuals reported fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fatigue! These results are powerful and suggest that all counselors, both secular and faith-based, should be helping people develop the skill of forgiveness.
Gary Thomas commented, "I don’t believe couples fall out of love—they fall out of repentance."
The secret of successful marriage is to strive for the perfect 16 – 4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer…..
MOTHERHOOD MARBLE – Best Thing To Do For You Kids Is Love Their Dad
My mother taught me RELIGION: When I spilled grape juice on the carpet, she instructed, "You better pray the stain will come out of the carpet." My mother taught me LOGIC: From her decisive words, "Because I said so, that’s why." My mother taught me FORESIGHT: "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident." My mother taught me IRONY: "Keep laughing, and I’ll give you something to cry about." My mother taught me about STAMINA: "You’ll sit there ’til all that spinach is finished." My mother taught me about WEATHER: "It looks as if a tornado swept through your room." My mother taught me THE CIRCLE OF LIFE: "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out." My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION: "Stop acting like your father!"
One of my favorite columns by Erma Bombeck tells of God in the act of creating mothers. She says that on the day God created mothers He had already worked long overtime. And an angel said to Him, "Lord, you sure are spending a lot of time on this one." The Lord turned & said, "Have you read the specs on this model? She is supposed to be completely washable, but not plastic. She is to have 180 moving parts, all of them replaceable. She is to have a kiss that will heal everything from a broken leg to a broken heart. She is to have a lap that will disappear whenever she stands up. She is to be able to function on coffee & leftovers. And she is supposed to have six pairs of hands.
"Can she think?" asked the angel. "Not only can she think," said the Lord, "but she can reason & compromise & persuade."Then the angel looked at the model of motherhood a little more closely & said, "She’s too soft." "Oh, but she is tough," said the Lord. "You’d be surprised at how much this mother can do."Then the angel reached over & touched her cheek. "This one has a leak," he said. "I told you that you couldn’t put that much in one model." "That’s not a leak," said the Lord. "That’s a tear.""What’s a tear for?" asked the angel. "Well it’s for joy, for sadness, for sorrow, for disappointment, for pride." "You’re a genius," said the angel. And the Lord said, "Oh, but I didn’t put it there."
MAKING A LIVING MARBLE
Organize and Plan: Make the most of your time
Delegate: Share the load
Develop a Support System: Family, Friends, Church
Set Realistic Expectations: Big Rocks First!
Take Care of Yourself: Sharpen The Axe