Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10, 2010

"Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine." I Samuel 17:40
There has been a lot of speculation about why David took five smooth stones in his bag when he marched out to confront Goliath, the giant.
Was he afraid he would miss with one shot?
Where there more giants who might come after him if he somehow managed to get lucky enough to take out this one? Some have suggested that Goliath had four brothers and perhaps David was making sure he was prepared if they came after him.
Was five his lucky number?
Obviously, we will never know what he was thinking but we do know what he did. He took five stones and had four of them left over (along with a dead giant).
It is no small thing to kill a giant. Goliath was not just big, he was fierce! He was not just big and fierce he was an experienced warrior. David had better know what he is doing and be sure of his aim. He probably wouldn't get a second chance!
I am not sure of what David was thinking when he took the five stones but it is obvious that he was creating a margin in his life. A margin is making sure you have more than enough to be successful in any situation. Call it a margin for error. Call it playing safe. Call it caution. Call it preparation. Having a margin is a good thing.
We know now that David didn't need the extra stones but he had them if he had needed them.
During the blog posts this weeks I am going to talk about the five stones necessary to slay a giant. And let's be real - we all have at least one giant in our lives.
The five stones I will be talking about are the stones of purpose, passion, plan, perspective and prayer.
Do you know the purpose of your life? Why are you here? What in the earth are you doing for Heaven's sake?
Are you living with passion? Are you fully engaged spiritually, emotionally, willfully, mentally, and physically? Or are you going through the motions?
Do you have a plan for successfully serving God? Do you have a strategy for taking down the giant(s) hindering your life? If you are failing to plan you are planning to fail!
Do you have a perspective on life? Do you see the giant like David did and as God did? While everyone else was saying Goliath was too big to challenge, David was thinking Goliath was too big to miss! Do look at the giants in your life with faith or fear?
Are you praying for God's strength to face your giants? Some might say that prayer would be the first weapon you should have. I could not argue with that. I believe, however, that you can pray more effectively once you have the other four stones in your sling. It certainly doesn't hurt to pray at every point - pray about His purpose for you - pray for Him to fill you with passion - pray for His plan to be revealed to you - pray until you have a faith perspective and pray for God to fight for you as you face your giant.
Giants are made to fall! The bigger they are the harder they fall but you must have the proper weapons and the right ammunition!

May 9, 2010

Last Spring I did a series during May entitled "Games People Play". This is the message I preached on Mother's Day.

The game I chose for this day was “Aggravation”. Why did I pick this particular game to speak about on Mother’s Day? Because this game requires the players to move four marbles around a game board from their home base to a home on the other side of the board.

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?


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


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."Six pairs of hands," said the angel, "that’s impossible." "It’s not the six pairs of hands that bother me." said the Lord, "It’s the three pairs of eyes. She is supposed to have one pair that sees through closed doors so that whenever she says, `What are you kids doing in there?’ she already knows what they’re doing in there." "She has another pair in the back of her head to see all the things she is not supposed to see but must see. And then she has one pair right in front that can look at a child that just goofed & communicate love & understanding without saying a word.""That’s too much." said the angel, "You can’t put that much in one model. Why don’t you rest for a while & resume your creating tomorrow?""No, I can’t," said the Lord. "I’m close to creating someone very much like myself. I’ve already come up with a model who can heal herself when she is sick - who can feed a family of six with one pound of hamburger - & who can persuade a nine year old to take a shower.""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 timeDelegate: Share the load Develop a Support System: Family, Friends, Church Set Realistic Expectations: Big Rocks First!Take Care of Yourself: Sharpen The Axe!

You CAN move all your marbles and get them home - without losing your marbles! But you must know which marbles to move and the order in which to move them!