If…

In the wake of recent national events, I thought it was pertinent to communicate the following Scripture:

2 Chronicles 7:14 – if MY people who are called by MY name, HUMBLE themselves, and PRAY and SEEK My face and TURN from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.*

The only question then is, will we do it? As a nation, will we humble ourselves, pray, and seek Him?

It begins with me…, and you…, then everyone else. Don’t wait for the next person, or you’ll be waiting a while. But if we each are the first to start, maybe we can begin a revolution!

*Capitalization mine

 

The Bible discourages working out!

OK, so that got your attention? I compare that to how some atheists twist and turn Scripture for their benefit.

So, the question is: does the Bible really talk about exercise? Of course it does!

Bodily exercise profiteth little – 1 Timothy 4:8a (KJV)

So, if we understand that correctly – it purely means we shouldn’t work out right?

Well, not really…. We know our Doctor’s and it seems any health advocate encourage physical exercise, so let’s put this in perspective and read it again (this time in a different translation AND in context):

Physical training is of some value….
but Godliness has value for all things,
holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. – 1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)

So, if we put it in context, it’s very similar to the passage in Luke 14:26 that reads “hate your father and mother” – which was really meant to compare how much love we should have for God.   It’s not that we should hate our parents, but relative to how we love God, the love for our parents doesn’t compare. Jesus follows this statement in Luke 14 with a metaphor that reminds us that we must follow through on our discipleship and commitment to the Lord above all else.

In 1 Timothy, I believe Paul is doing a similar assessment: in comparison to how we ought to train our spirit for the Lord, any training for our body doesn’t compare, relatively speaking.

Thus it is that although you might have thought you were going to have a reason not to work out, instead, this passage very clearly shows (when read in context) that we should work out, BUT even more so, we need to prepare our bodies spiritually for our life to come.

 

[Some other Scripture passages on body health: Psalm 18:32-36, Romans 12:1, 1 Cor 9:27, 1 Cor 6:19-20, Eph 5:18, Hebrews 12:11-13]

Feeding the 5,000

It’s not every day that we see God feed 5,000. In fact, despite the fact that you may believe that story, you’ve probably never seen that done. Me neither, well, not for 5,000….

It was a Wednesday evening, probably 5 years ago or so. We had scheduled a Wednesday Night meal for church members, as a Youth Fundraiser. It was a simple plan, prepare spaghetti for just about 50-60 members or so. Well, unfortunately, as things would have it, the water didn’t boil fast enough, and by 4:45, we realized that we would not have enough spaghetti ready in 15 minutes for the adults, who had already begun to gather prior to the 5:00 planned meal time. What could we do?

We essentially had no option (we thought), except to tell the adults that the meal would not be ready on-time. In the meantime, we continued to plan the rest of the meal, getting the bread on the table, the sauces in the buffet line, and so on. And then it came time for the moment of truth – the pasta.

As I took the first (and only) pot of cooked spaghetti and emptied it into the large bowl, I noticed that the amount seemed to grow exponentially. I don’t know how to explain it (other than God) that this measly little stock pot had miraculously overfilled a commercial sized serving pan. If I remember correctly, we had emptied 2-3 boxes of pasta into the stock pot, but as I poured the pasta into the pan, the heaping mound grew larger and larger, enough to feed practically everyone in line. In the meantime, we had plenty of time to fix the remaining pasta needed, and had several boxes of pasta left over.

In a moment of what we believed was a crisis, God had shown us first hand that the feeding of the 5,000 is still possible today (even if it wasn’t quite as many people). It goes to show, that God is still in the business of miracles.

FYI – the scripture referring to the original Feeding 5,000 miracle can be found in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-15.

The voice….

I thought it was appropriate this week with the Sports Camp Theme “Undefeated” …

“the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. ‘Boy, you’ll never win!
You’ll never win!'”*

If you’ve never heard the song VOICE OF TRUTH”, by Casting Crowns, I encourage you to take a few minutes and listen HERE”.

While the waves (and the world) tells us we may never win, the good news is that God has a different plan for us.

“the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”
The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth”*

God has, and always, will a plan for us; a plan to win. You see, despite how many “failures” we may have in this life – they don’t count, because the ultimate victory is God’s. He has already won the only fight that matters.

There is only one fight that we must be obedient to now, and that’s the fight for God’s glory. Through witnessing for Him and telling others, we can defeat Satan, and win all the battles that we have.

“I will choose to listen and believe….the voice of truth”*

*Lyrics by Casting Crowns

What did God give you?

“I’ve made a mess of me
The person that I’ve been lately
Ain’t who I wanna be
But you stay here right beside me….
And I need you.”*

Those words could easily be said by anybody to God. But instead, these words were written for two people in love.

“Cause God gave me YOU for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
And for when I think I lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it’s true
God Gave Me You?”*  <–click HERE

Just a little over 22 years ago I had the opportunity to enter into marriage with my beautiful bride,God_gave_me_you a relationship that God put together. A relationship that grows stronger day by day. But through it all, I still manage to screw it up sometimes.

“There’s more here than what we’re seeing
A divine conspiracy,
That you an angel lovely
Could somehow fall for me…
And I need you!”*

Thank you for being mine Kimberly! Even in my failures, you still love me. I will ALWAYS LOVE YOU!**

For those of you out there, I want you to stop and think. What did God give you? . . . and are you treating that lady, …that man, …that child right? I know I’m not. So I need to do better.

*Lyrics by Blake Shelton
**Open Heart by me 🙂

Trust in God

10 minutes into flight: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be turning the plane around and returning to the Greenville airport in the next 10-15 minutes. During take-off the plane experienced a mechanical… event. The pilot will come on in the next few minutes to elaborate….”

Some minutes later: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we want you to know that it is customary for Fire Engines, Ambulances, and rescue personnel to attend the scene during landing of a returning plane. Please do not be alarmed as this is normal procedure required at the airport….”

That’s what I heard no more than 48 hours ago as I started my travel to France. For some people, this would be cause for alarm; thinking the worst of what might happen, or that maybe fate was telling them not to travel. Some might think: “Why was I on that flight? The planes engines could have stopped and we could have crashed….”

There are a myriad of thoughts that can run through a worrier’s mind.

For others, who trust in the Lord, they might say “I’m sure it will all be good.” And that’s what my loving wife said – it’ll be all ok. She trusted that God had a plan for my travel. Despite what happened, or what would happen, she knew that God was in charge and that she shouldn’t worry.

Now, just because someone trusts in the Lord, doesn’t mean they should be “care free.” In fact, moments later, she texted “Thank you Lord, for your protection.” You see, it could have been time for life to end. Our lives are not scripted by us, but by God. He is the one in control of what happens and when it happens. We can believe that we are in charge, but that would require us also not to believe that God is in charge.

And for those that don’t trust God, they are generally worrisome people. They don’t understand that despite the circumstances they are in, God has a plan better than we could ever imagine- a plan that will carry us through. That plan may not be easy or totally free of trials (most likely it won’t be free of trials), but it is the best plan for us.

Now, after a very exhausting travel over 24 hours, with multiple flight changes, I am safely at my destination. Does that mean I know WHY all these events happened? No. But again, I don’t need to know why, I just need to trust in the Lord. And that’s all I’m doing.

Thank you Lord for always being there and guiding me day to day!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? … Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25, 27

captains_windsheildBy the way, in case you were wondering what a mechanical “event” looks like – see the picture here: During take-off the Captain’s side of the windshield fractured. We don’t know if we hit something or if pressure or stress caused it.

how to study…

During a recent sermon*, I heard an amazing easy way to study the Bible that I thought I should pass on to those of you that don’t attend my church. In two easy steps (yes, only two!), you can learn more about the Bible, without needing an education, or any expensive tools.

Want to know the secret? OK, I won’t delay any longer*:

1) Open your Bible
2) Read your Bible

Didn’t I tell you it was remarkably simple?

Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh

It really is that easy.  God will speak to you if you will just take the time to sit down, open the Bible, and read His Holy Word. God will begin a remarkable journey that you can experience if you’ll just take the time to make time. …and don’t forget, Pray!

* Credits to: Benji Ladd, 5/31/2015