Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What I learned on the way there...

When I was younger I loved to go places with no plan. I just get in the car with a destination in mind but just drive, a kind of "get there when we get there" attitude. But I learned something on this trip, well, several things.
Never travel without baby wipes - in good supply!
But second to that is, where travel is concerned I am not a "journey" kind of guy. I am a destination guy. I have a plan. There is expectation involved. The journey gets in the way of my plan. We were supposed to arrive in Boise the evening of the 22nd. But that didn't work out. After we got to Ogden Utah we found out that Interstate 84 West to Boise was closed because of poor visibility (snowing really good!). So we had to travel North to Pocatello (where we ended up staying the night). I was not worried about the snow or the roads, I was upset that we were not going to make it when we planned. We had to drive 2 hours out of the way. And had to spend money on a hotel! I did not really care about the adventure, the journey we got to take. We stayed at a great hotel. And we got to see some beautiful countryside. But I didn't pay much attention to those things since I was more upset about not getting to Boise when planned.

Life, I've heard is not about the destination (though it is ALL about the destination - but go with me for a minute) but about the journey. The twists and turns in life that take us to places we didn't plan and experiences we had not expected. I know some people in life who, like my travel, are more concerned about the destination, their plans and purposes and stuff then they are about the journey of life.

I suppose that it is good for us to be willing to take what life brings us, or rather, take what God brings us. I am reminded of Paul who said, "I know what it is to have plenty, and I know what it is to be in want" and he finished it all with, "I have learned to be content." Enjoying the journey of life has a great deal to do with leaning to be content with what you are given, what comes your way, what God brings.

So I prayed on Monday while driving, "God help me to enjoy what you bring - the detours and the bumps and the turns and twists."

Maybe this Christmas is not turning out just like YOU planned. Maybe the tree isn't as stuffed with presents as you wanted. Maybe there's no snow on the ground like you wanted (were supposed to get up to 6inches today and tomorrow here in Boise!). But What has God brought you? What turns did your life take this last year that changed your plans? Have you been upset about it? Why not see it is an opportunity to discover something about yourself, about your God and about contentment?

Have a great Christmas Eve and Christmas day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

He Will Be Called - part 3 - Everlasting Father

There are lots of names for Christ, this week we look at Christ as our Everlasting Father. No matter what kind of a father you had, your Everlasting Father is better than them all, watch and see.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hebrews 13 / December 9 - The Last things...

Well, I've been working on the message for Sunday, it's about Jesus as our Everlasting Father, and I read a website where people whose Fathers had died could post letters to their Dad. It was actually pretty sad. Some of the letters and short statements on the guestbook were very positive and gave a nod to God for His work in their lives through the difficult times. But others seemed just hopeless. There was more than one that said, I can't live without you, it's hopeless. Others talked of years of pain and sadness that would not go away. One asked the question, "why, why, did you have to smoke?" The pain and emptiness that was conveyed by many was terribly depressing. There were others though that spoke of the last things that were said, voice mails left or fun times. What would you say if it were your last chance to speak to someone?

Hebrews 13 is the epilogue of the book. Perhaps the last time the writer (who every he or she was) would ever speak to their audience again. What was so important? What couldn't wait? What had to be said?

Did you notice that what the writer says falls very close to the following; keep it up! Don't waiver! Keep doing what you know you ought to do! Love. Entertain. Remember. Keep pure. Be content. Consider. Don't be carried away. Look for the City. Obey and pray.

Get busy!

And the prayer of the one who penned this encouragement? That God would, "equip you with everything good for doing HIS will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to HIM, through Jesus Christ."

Would you like it in a nutshell? After all it is the holidays. Don't stop. Don't stop doing the things you know are pleasing to God - even if you want to - don't stop. Get up. Start again if you fail. Don't give up. Don't shut up. Don't... I don't know another one that ends in "up" but you get the idea. And when you move and go and don't stop God will equip you with everything for doing HIS will.

Have a great Wednesday.

Monday, December 8, 2008

He Will Be Called: Mighty God - 12-7-08

It's Christmas time. Snow. Caroling. Family. Presents. But let's not forget bills, pressure to get the right gifts, family. Snow. Life is chaotic enough but when we add Christmas into the mix the pressure increases. Have been trying to do life on your own? Planning your own steps. Trying desperately to be the man, or woman you think you need to be to meet your own needs or the needs of your family. But guess what? You can't do it. But there is someone who can...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hebrews 1 / Dec 3 - Jesus is # 1

Do you remember in Nacho Libre when Ramses is getting ready for the big fight? He's got some guy who is sitting there saying, "Ramses is #1, his arms are number one, his legs are number one, his fists are number one...Ramses is...number one."
In the movie it turns out to not be true, since Ramses gets beat by Nacho. But we could say this about Jesus and it would be true. Look no further than Hebrews 1.

Jesus is
heir of all things
maker of the universe
the radiance of God's glory
the exact representation of his being
sustainer of all things by his powerful word
superior to the angels

There are those who worship mere men or women... but they will eventually get beat, by death or Nacho if nothing else. Angels are pretty popular today but even with their abilities worshiping angels doesn't get you anywhere either.

Jesus is the only one that fits the bill. Heir. Maker. Radiance. Exact Representation. Sustainer. Superior. There is no one else who is the Son of God. No one else who has the right to stand at the right hand of God. No one else who will withstand and outlast everything else created.

Jesus is number one...
His arms are number one...
His legs are number one...
His love is number one...
His grace is number one...
His mercy is number one...
His sacrifice is number one... one!

Have a great Wednesday knowing you have a relationship with the NUMBER ONE of all time!

Monday, December 1, 2008

He Will Be Called:Wonderful Counselor - Week 1

Where do you go for advice? Is it always good? How would you like to get the right advice at the right time - every time? The first term Isaiah used to describe Jesus was Wonderful Counselor. But in order to take advantage of that counsel we must...well I don't want to give it away!