The People You Redeemed

As I came up the stairs and stepped on the rug – it slid. Not good.

The back door is perpendicular to the basement door. The throw rug there does not have a rubber backing.

I recently put several lines of silicone caulk on the back of that rug. I read it would not harm laminate flooring. When I lifted the rug, it looked like a pile of spaghetti. The caulk had come off.

I prayed, “Lord, there has to be a way to secure this rug. I don’t want to throw it away or damage the laminate.”

A few minutes later, I got the answer – duct tape. But not used in the way you would expect.

There’s a register next to the back door. I pulled the register cover out and tore off a long piece of duct tape. I taped one end to the underside of the register cover and put it back. I laid the large piece, sticky side up, on the floor.

Starting at the edge of the register, I unrolled the throw rug. Then I stepped on it to adhere the duct tape. That secured the rug without damaging the floor. You might say I redeemed that rug.

* * * * * * *

“Redeemed – compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something.”

* * * * * * * *

We are starting a new series at church – “Redeemed.” Pastor Gary Van Nyhuis kicked it off with his sermon, “Junky or Spunky: Redeemed.”

“Redeemed – Wear it, declare it, share it. …Don’t roll over – rise up! …Redemption – Put it on, pass it on, party on.” Pastor Gary Van Nyhuis, October 21, 2018

* * * * * * *

Exodus 15:13, “But the people You redeemed, You led in merciful love; You guided them under Your protection to Your holy pasture.” The Message

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#bible

You Make God Tired

Last night, Pastor Monte Knudsen spoke about dealing with temptation.

“All temptation is common. …Temptation means you think about it, until you justify it, and then sin is conceived in you. …Flee temptation. …Take your thoughts captive. …Deny yourself. …Recognize the horrible cost of sin. …” Pastor Monte Knudsen, September 26, 2018

He read the temptations of the Israelites in 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. They are the same things we are tempted with.

Today was a quiet day. I didn’t fall for any temptations. But, according to Malachi, “normal” days are dangerous.

“Most of life is not lived in crisis…when things are… ‘normal,’ our interest in God is crowded to the margins…and we become preoccupied with ourselves. ‘Religion’ during such times is trivialized…calling God into question or complaining…treating worship…as a mere hobby…managing our personal affairs (such as marriage) for our own convenience…going about our usual activities as if God were not involved. …Malachi…wakes us up…during the times when the only thing we are concerned with is us. He keeps us on our toes, listening for God, waiting in anticipation for God, ready to respond to God, who is always coming to us.” The Message Introduction to Malachi

Many things Malachi listed still happen today.

Malachi 1:7, “When you say, ‘The altar of God is not important anymore; worship of God is no longer a priority, ‘that’s defiling.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

Malachi 1:12-13, “You profane me when you say,… ‘I’m bored – this doesn’t do anything for me.’ (13) You act so superior, sticking your noses in the air…” The Message

* * * * * * *

Malachi 2:13, “And here’s the second offense: ‘You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don’t get what you want from God.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

Malachi 2:17, “You make God tired with all your talk. ‘How do we tire Him out?’ you ask. By saying, ‘God loves sinners and sin alike. God loves all.’ And also by saying, ‘Judgment? God’s too nice to judge.’ ” The Message

I don’t know about you, but I feel conviction.

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#bible

God Sees Everything You’re Doing for Him

To celebrate his birthday, David rushed home after work and took a shower. We drove for a half hour and arrived at 6 pm. He entered the building and took his place on the throne – the drum throne!

We practiced for an hour and played for the service. Even on his birthday, David kept his commitment. Even when the senior pastor was out-of-town, he kept his commitment. Even on a Wednesday night, when the congregation is smaller, he kept his commitment.

Pastor Gary Van Nyhuis preached about heaven – “Home, Sweet Heaven.” He used one of the verses I wrote down today.

Revelation 2:10, “Fear nothing in the things you’re about to suffer – but stay on guard! Fear nothing! …a time of testing…won’t last forever. Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life. Stay there believing. I have a Life-Crown sized and ready for you.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“God will reward you for what you did in the ’70’s, ’80’s, and 90’s. He sees your service.” Pastor Gary Van Nyhuis, July 11, 2018

* * * * * * *

Revelation 2:2-3, “I see what you’ve done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quit. I know you can’t stomach evil, that you weed out apostolic pretenders. (3) I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Revelation 2:19, “I see everything you’re doing for Me. Impressive! The love and the faith, the service and persistence. Yes, very impressive! You get better at it every day.” The Message

Pastor Gary had an altar call to pray for “attitudes” and those who lost their joy. Members of the worship team were quick to respond. People see our works. God sees our motives and attitudes.

Revelation 2:23, “…Then every church will know that appearances don’t impress Me. I x-ray every motive and make sure you get what’s coming to you.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“The devil will let you go backwards all day long and never fight you. In fact, he’ll pop pills so you don’t even feel the pain of your lack of progress…” “The devil will let you go backwards all day long” 1 Min Motivation, Steven Furtick

* * * * * * *

“God will often extricate us from the mess we have made, because ‘His love endures forever’ (1 Chronicles 16:34). Yet if we had only been patient and waited to see the unfolding of His plan, we would never have found ourselves in such an impossible maze, seeing no way out. We would also never have had to turn back and retrace our way, with wasted steps and so many tears of shame.” F. B. Meyer, “Streams in the Desert,” July 11

* * * * * * *

Revelation 2:24, “…be assured I’ll not make life any harder for you than it already is. Hold on to the truth you have until I get there.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Revelation 1:3, “…Time is just about up.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Revelation 1:12-16, “I turned and saw the voice. I saw a gold menorah with seven branches, (13) and in the center, the Son of Man, in a robe and gold breastplate, (14) hair a blizzard of white, eyes pouring fire-blaze, (15) both feet furnace-fired bronze, His voice a cataract, (16) right hand holding Seven Stars. His mouth a sharp-biting sword, His face a perigee sun.” The Message

A cataract is a large waterfall. Perigee is the point in the orbit of the moon or a satellite at which it is nearest the earth.

When Jesus returns, no one will miss it. His voice makes Niagara Falls sound like a whisper. His face is brighter than the sun when it is nearest to the earth.

“We will be caught up together with the Lord, (1 Thessalonians 4:17). He will give us a home in heaven, an eternal body, and new clothes (2 Corinthians 5:1-5). There will be no more death, sorrow, tears, or pain (Revelation 21:4), and no more curse, bondage, darkness or night (Revelation 22:3, 5).” Pastor Gary Van Nyhuis, July 11, 2018

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That’s Your Job, to Bless

Sorry, I’ve been MIA, (Missing In Action). My son was training in another state and Bethany needed me. After yesterday’s sermon, I went home and rested.

Five Areas to Defend Yourself In From Satan’s Attacks

  1. Famished – hungry beyond reason spiritually.
  2. Irritable – bad mood from viewing things from a human perspective, not God’s perspective.
  3. Gullible – lies we want to believe, not walking in truth.
  4. Hurt – Everyone has it, no one wants to deal with it.
  5. Tired – If God had to rest, so do we!

Pastor Josh Cody, 7-1-2018

It’s amazing how getting rest changes your perspective!

“You can walk in a bad mood or in love, not both,” Pastor Josh Cody

“The Word of God has the ability to gut your perspective of past memories that haunt you, of future fears that intimidate you, and of personal insecurities that damage you and cripple you, and bring you into a proper perspective of all that God says you are…” “Correcting Your Perspective,” 1 Min Motivation, Steven Furtick

“If you avoid God, Satan will seek you first,” Pastor Josh Cody

“When you try to run from God, you keep running into Him at every turn. …When God dislocated Jacob’s hip, in essence He was telling him, ‘Your running days are over, and your limp will be a constant reminder of your total dependence on Me.’ …Everything Jacob needed, he found when he ran into the arms of God.” The Word for You Today,  7-2-2018

“Not dealing with it doesn’t work,” Pastor Josh Cody

1 Peter 4:7-8, “Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. (8) Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.” The Message

“Don’t go for what looks good, but what is good,” Pastor Josh Cody

1 Peter 3:8-9, “Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. (9) No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless – that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.” The Message

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Christ Thought of Everything

Grief. The family is walking through the five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. Everyone grieves differently. Four members of the same family can start in four different stages. Some are in shock and cannot cry. Others can’t stop crying.

There are so many decisions – so much to do:

  • Find the best pictures.
  • Pick verses that reflect their life or were favorites.
  • Remembering everything for the obituary.
  • Choosing a final resting place.
  • Dispersing all the stuff.
  • Re-homing the animals.
  • Explaining everything to his granddaughter.
  • Which songs?

Acts 28 is a wonderful example of how to survive grief or another trauma.

1. Build a campfire.

Acts 28:1-2, “Once everyone was accounted for and we realized we had all made it… (2) went out of their way to be friendly…they built a huge bonfire and gathered us around it.” The Message

The grieving need to look around make sure everyone is there. The friends of the family are to gather around the family. They are there to listen or just cry with you.

2. Take them home.

Acts 28:7-9, “The head man…Publius…took us into his home as his guests, drying us out and putting us up in fine style. … (8) Publius’s father was sick…Paul…laid hands on him and prayed, the man was healed. (9) Word of the healing got around fast, and soon everyone on the island who was sick came and got healed.” The Message

Send the grieving to your guest room for a nap. Or to rest and let their mind stop spinning. Take them out to eat to let them set the grief aside for a bit.

Friends can get you away from the grief for an hour or so. But, even in grief, look for ways to serve. Doing something kind for someone else lifts our spirits.

3. Meet their needs.

Acts 28:10, “We spent a wonderful three months on Malta. They treated us royally, took care of our needs and outfitted us for the rest of the journey.” The Message

Offer water and food. Loan them what they are lacking – an umbrella on a rainy day. Guard them like royalty. Be a buffer for them.

4. Realize their grieving is not permanent.

Acts 28:15, “Paul, brimming over with praise, led us in prayers of Thanksgiving.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Acts 28:20, “…I’m a hostage here for hope, not doom.” The Message

Time eases grief. It becomes easier to bear. You never stop missing your loved one but you find reasons to smile again. We start to see things differently.

* * * * * * *

Death is not the only hard time we will experience. Divorce, unemployment, accidents, and serious illnesses all take us through a valley.

“We want God to change the situation but not us. God wants to change us.” Pastor Monte Knudsen, 6-27-18

* * * * * * *

“…He wanted me to learn that His grace is sufficient in the pit. …God didn’t rescue Daniel from the pit; He delivered Him from the power of the enemy while he was in the pit.” Pastor Sarah Utterbach – Redeeming Love Christian Center in The Word for You Today, 6-27-18

God has a plan for our lives. We will not stay in this valley or pit forever.

Ephesians 1:8-9, “He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, (9) letting us in on the plans He took such delight in making.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Ephesians 1:11-12, “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. (12) …He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone.” The Message

Lean on your church family during hard times. They want to bear your burdens. Their prayers will carry you when you can’t go any further.

Ephesians 1:22, “…The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church.” The Message

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Live a Real Life, Eternal Life

We met with our accountability group on Tuesday night. We lean on these 2 couples during hard times and rejoice together during good times.

Last week we finished a DVD series from Jimmy Evans. I thought we had one more episode. So, I scrolled through some recorded Andy Stanley episodes. I found we had not finished “The N Commandments” series. We watched session 4.

“I’m worried about ________. Replace whatever word you put in that blank with “tomorrow.” Everything we worry about won’t happen until tomorrow. Don’t think about tomorrow; think about today.”

“The N Commandments” Andy Stanley

His text was Matthew 6:25-34 and “Take no thought” is in there 3 times. “Do Not Worry” or “Don’t fuss” repeated 3 times.

Then in Pastor Monte Knudsen’s sermon last night, I heard “Do not be troubled” 3 times.

  1. Matthew 24:6, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled. …” New Living Translation
  2. 2 Thessalonians 2:2, “Not let your mind be quickly shaken or troubled…” New Living Translation
  3. John 14:1, “Let not your heart be troubled. …” New Living Translation

* * * * * * *

While working on yesterday’s post, I followed the advice of FBI Agent LaRae Quy. I made a list of tasks and ideas for my blog. Some items are overwhelming.

I woke at 3:30 am going over that list. I am not supposed to worry or be troubled. Then I remembered something Joseph Morris said at Faith Conference 2018.

“The rapture of the church is signless. The second coming has several signs. …Wouldn’t it be great if Jesus returned on the ‘Feast of Trumpets’ in September?” Joseph Morris at Faith Conference 2018

I went over my mental list again. If I only had until September, there wouldn’t be time to complete the first three. I think I will concentrate on the next 4 items.

This morning, I listened to Joseph Morris’ End of Days Update. He mentioned many signs, but 2 stuck with me.

  1. Blood Moons – We had four of them this last year. One was on the Passover and one on the Feast of Tabernacles. This happened 3 other times in history: 1492 – the expulsion of Jews from Spain; 1948 – when Israel became a nation in 1 day; and 1967 – when Israel reclaimed Jerusalem and all its land in the “6 Day War.”
  2. The Bethlehem Star – It appeared over 2000 years ago under the sign of Virgo. It appeared last December under the sign of Leo. Jesus was born of a virgin and He will return as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

Signs in the heavens. Yesterday, at lunch, I read some space trivia:

“When will the sun burn out? …So far, the star that powers our solar system has burned about half of its hydrogen reserves…the sun will grow so large it will boil our oceans and make the earth uninhabitable.” triviatoday.com

The Bible says the sun will burn out!

Matthew 24:29-31, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days; ‘the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ (30) Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” New Living Translation

* * * * * * *

2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” New American Standard Bible

Hmm. You can’t stop global warming and Matthew 24:31 mentioned trumpets. So, how am I going to live?

* * * * * * *

The late entertainer, formerly known as Prince, wrote a song at the turn of the century called “1999.”

“…it was judgment day…people runnin’ everywhere tryin’ to run from the destruction…war is all around us…out of time, so tonight I’m gonna party like its nineteen-ninety-nine.” “1999” by Prince

That was his answer to facing the end. He planned to live it up until he died.

Tim McGraw recorded another song about his dad when he found out he was dying.

“…and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter and I gave forgiveness I’d been denying.” “Live Like You We’re Dying” Tim McGraw

We don’t need to live it up or live like we’re dying. Paul shows us a better way – live a real life, eternal life.

Romans 6:20-23, “As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. (21) But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end. (22) But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin to tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise? A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! (23) Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.” The Message

So, how do we live? Don’t worry and don’t be troubled; live like we’re leaving!

Proverbs 10:28, “The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.” New International Study Bible

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Right-Living, Right-Giving Fathers

Five Fatal Mistakes Fathers Make ( from the life of Lot)

  1. Selfishness – Lot chose money over God, he chose the land with the best prospects, Genesis 13:10.
  2. Bad Environment – Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, Genesis 13:12.
  3. Expectations – Lot moved into Sodom and thought he could change it, Genesis 14:11-12; 2 Peter 2:6-8.
  4. Example – He thought his family would listen to his words, not watch his lifestyle. When the angels arrived in Sodom, Lot was on the council sitting at the city gate, Genesis 19:1. When Lot told his sons-in-law the Lord was going to destroy the city, they laughed at him, Genesis 19:14.
  5. Entrapment – The world entangled Lot and his family. He knew the city would be destroyed, but he lingered. The angels had to grab the hands of him, his wife, and 2 unmarried daughters to pull them out of the city, Genesis 19:15-16.”

“Wear the Shoes You Want Filled” – Pastor Monte Knudsen,

June 17, 2018

* * * * * * *

2 Corinthians 9:9, “As one Psalmist put it, ‘He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.’ ” The Message

Paul was quoting from Psalms 112. It describes the attributes of a godly parent.

Psalms 112:1-9, “Hallelujah! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God, who cherish and relish His commandments, (2) Their children robust on the earth, and the homes of the upright – how blessed! (3) Their homes brim with wealth and generosity that never runs dry. (4) Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people – God’s grace and mercy and justice! (5) The good person is generous and lends lavishly; no shuffling or stumbling around for this one, (6) But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation. (7) Unfazed by rumor and gossip, heart ready, trusting in God, (8) Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies, (9) They lavish gifts on the poor – a generosity that goes on, and on, and on. An honored life! A beautiful life!” The Message

There is a connection between right-living and right-giving. Paul consistently addressed a financial offering for the church in Jerusalem.

2 Corinthians 9:1, “If I wrote any more on this relief offering for the poor Christians, I’d be repeating myself.” The Message

* * * * * *

“This collection for the Jerusalem church seems to have originated at the so-called Jerusalem council (Acts 15; Galatians 2:1-10). While the apostles and elders of the council agreed that Paul could pursue his mission to the Gentiles, they asked that he ‘remember the poor’ (Galatians 2:10), indirectly referring to an offering for the Jerusalem church. The collection, therefore, stood at the very foundation of Paul’s missionary work.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Which shoes do you want your children to wear?

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Live Well, Live Wisely, Live Humbly

“When Christian believers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong, sooner or later does. …Just as a hospital collects the sick under one roof and labels them as such, the church collects sinners. …” The Message Introduction to the Book of James

Sin is like diabetes. Daily Bible reading and prayer are your insulin. But we all had “kidney failure” so to speak. Going to church is our dialysis. Every few days we get our heart cleaned out.

“…So Christian churches are not as a rule model communities of good behavior. They are, rather, places where human misbehavior is brought out in the open, faced, and dealt with….” The Message Introduction to the Book of James

We face our failures – and with God’s help, set strategies to keep from repeating them.

“The letter of James shows one of the church’s early pastors skillfully going about his work of confronting, diagnosing, and dealing with areas of mis-belief and misbehavior that had turned up in congregations committed to his care. …Wisdom is not primarily knowing the truth, although it certainly includes that; it is skill in living. For, what good is truth if we don’t know how to live it? …James carried the nickname “Old Camel Knees” because of thick calluses built up on his knees from many years of determined prayer. …Prayer is always foundational to wisdom.” The Message Introduction to the Book of James

There would be fewer knee replacements if we spent more time on them in prayer.

James 1:2, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.” The Message

Now I am a little afraid to go to church!

James 1:3-4, “You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. (4) So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” The Message

Whatever test is coming, I will need to endure it with patience!

James 1:22-24, “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! (23) Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, (24) walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” The Message

Guilty. I am easily distracted. I need to make action notes with my sermon notes.

James 1:25, “But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God – the free life! – even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.” The Message

Cool. My actions will be rewarded!

James 2:12-13, “Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. (13) For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.” The Message

Note to self: Be kind. Show Mercy.

James 2:14-18, “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?

(15) For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved

(16) and say, ‘Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!’ and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup – where does that get you?

(17) Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

(18)…You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.” The Message

It’s time to leave for worship practice before church. Time to put my faith to work!

* * * * * * *

The keyboard monitor didn’t seem to work well in practice. I decided to use earphones – just in case. We started the service and nothing came out of the monitor. Thankfully, the synth came in and off we went.

Still no monitor. I thought the sound man had left my channel muted. I was a virtuoso. I hit 10 or 12 glissandos, a little rock and roll, and several jazz notes.

Nothing. The synth led the next 2 songs. When I came in on my part, I hit it hard. At the end of the third song, I even waved at the sound man. Still nothing.

I was to lead the fourth song. The guitar player was gone and wasn’t there to cover for me. I played the intro – NOTHING!

I ripped the earphones out of the keyboard and pushed the volume up to the max. The external speakers on it, (which were muted by the earphones), were loud enough for the leader to hear.

I grinned at the worship leader on the drums. He mouthed, “Make Rachel play the synth.” She came in and we finished worship.

The lay pastor came forward. (We are to turn our instruments down while he talks.)

Suddenly, the keyboard came through the system. My nephew, Brayden, put it best, “All service I couldn’t hear the piano. Then it was as if I fell into a piano!”

I had the keyboard as loud as it would go. The sound man had the channel as loud as it could go. It was an explosion of keys!

It turns out there was a short in the soundboard. That is why the keyboard kept disappearing in the monitor! It refused to work all through worship. The poor sound man tried everything. Then it decided to work at the most inopportune time!

James 3:1, “Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards.” The Message

Teachers teach about what they know. I know about being tested!

James 3:2, “And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths.” The Message

Have you met me?

James 3:5, “A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything – or destroy it!” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Over time, small things make a huge difference. …How often do you put your trust in the wrong thing. …Faith is not talking to God about your mountain; it’s talking to your mountain about your great God. …Most people don’t do great things. They do small things well and that changes everything.” Pastor Monte Knudsen, June 3, 2018

* * * * * * *

James 3:13, “Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts.” The Message

I spent the rest of the service concerned for the sound man. It’s a thankless job. After a service, he may have 2 people talk to him. One will say it was too loud and the other will say they couldn’t hear. I expected he would be stressed out.

I was wrong.

After the service, he quietly made his way to the platform. He calmly explained about the short and promised to report it. (Shout out to Cam, the sound man! You should have been a doctor – you work well in a crisis.)

James 3:17-18, “Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced.

(18) You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” The Message

I need to apologize to all the sound men I’ve worked with before. (Why, oh why, did I start a blog?) When things went wrong, as they inevitably did, I blamed them. They didn’t have any more control over things than me. God is in control. I learned my lesson.

James 4:1-3, “Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again.

(2) They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it. You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not?

(3) Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.” The Message

Ouch.

James 4:7-10, “So let God work His will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper.

(8) Say a quiet yes to God and He’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field.

(9) Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over.

(10) Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” The Message

The only way to get on my feet is by getting back on my knees.

“Even though we follow Christ’s command, we should not expect to escape the storm …Christ may delay coming to us during our times of distress, but it is simply so our faith may be tested and strengthened. …’With Christ in my vessel, I smile at the storm.’ Christ said, ‘Let’s go over to the other side’ – not ‘to the middle of the lake to be drowned.’ ” Daniel Crawford, “Streams in the Desert” June 3

Christ didn’t bail me out during the first song. But I weathered the storm and I’m stronger for it.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Purify Yourselves in Worship

John shrugs his shoulders, looks out across our wheat field. ‘Farmers, we think we control so much, do so much right to make a crop. And when you’re farming,’ he turns back toward me, ‘you are faced with it every day. You control so little. Really. It’s God who decides it all. Not us.’ He slips his big Dutch hands into frayed pockets, smiles easily. ‘It’s all good.’

‘…How do you know that, John? Deep down, how do you know that it really is all good. That God is good. That you can say yes – to whatever He gives?’ I know the story of the man I’m asking…

‘Tiff just noticed Dietrich had started breathing a bit heavier this afternoon. …they said his lung had collapsed. It will just be a matter of hours. Like it was at the end for Austin.’ His firstborn, Austin, had died of the same genetic disease only eighteen months prior. 

‘…Well, even our boys…I don’t know why that all happened. …But do I have to? …maybe you don’t want to change the story, because you don’t know what a different ending holds.’

…There’s a reason I am not writing the story and God is. He knows how it all works out, where it all leads, what it all means.

…I wonder…if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually be places to see. …through to God. …that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. …To the God we endlessly crave.

…In our plain country church on the edge of that hayfield enclosed by an old cedar split-rail fence, once a week on Sunday, my soul’s macular holes spontaneously heal.”

“One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp

* * * * * * *

Isaiah 52:1, 2, “Wake up, wake up! Pull on your boots, …Dress up in your Sunday best… Those who want no part of God have been culled out. They won’t be coming along. Brush off the dust and get to your feet… Throw off your chains, captive…” The Message

* * * * * * * * *

Isaiah 52:11, 12, “Out of here! Out of here! Leave this place! Don’t look back. Don’t contaminate yourself with plunder. Just leave, but leave clean. Purify yourselves in the process of worship… (12) But you don’t have to be in a hurry. You’re not running from anybody! God is leading you out of here, and the God of Israel is also your rear guard.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Isaiah 54:7, 8, “Your Redeemer God says: ‘I left you but only for a moment. Now, with enormous compassion, I’m bringing you back. (8) In an outburst of anger I turned my back on you – but only for a moment. It’s with lasting love that I’m tenderly caring for you.” The Message

It doesn’t matter where you are on Saturday, brush off the dust and get up. Get out of there and purify yourself in worship. God is leading you and he has your back! You don’t want to miss a chance to have your soul’s holes heal.

You may say, “I don’t want to go back to church. I don’t like (fill in the blank) or I am angry and hurt by (fill in the blank).” 

“If I’m looking for reasons to be offended, looking for reasons to be angry, I should not be surprised when I find myself in a low emotional state. …How can I expect to walk in freedom if I have not chosen to walk in forgiveness? …I don’t forgive you for you. I forgive you because I want to be free.”

“Finding Freedom in Forgiveness” Steven Furtick – 1 Min Motivation

If you don’t have a church, I invite you to mine. You can visit the local satellite or listen to the sermon online at fcoc.net. And visit truelife.org for answers to life’s hardest questions.

I hope to see you there. We would like to introduce you to The Chain Breaker – Jesus Christ!

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.