Monthly Archives: October 2012

gate in field

When you feel weak…

God is capable of doing anything – as long as it does not violate His other attributes… His power is not an abstract idea but a force to be reckoned with.” Bill Bright – God: Discover His Character

God is All-Powerful. Sometimes I have to stop and remember about that reality. It’s so easy to be caught up in the daily challenges of life. Is God really the Biggest and the Strongest (as we teach the young children)? Yes, He is. The enemy of our souls knows it and he works overtime to keep us from trusting in it. Satan knows if we try to live life in our own power, we will stumble and fall.

God has no weaknesses. There are no chinks in His armor. We have access to His power any time, anywhere.

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now He is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. Ephesians 1:19-21 NLT

The king of darkness will do his best to keep us from a strong relationship with our Savior. One that is born in quiet communion with Him each day, strengthened on the meat of His Word, and takes flight in the Power of the Holy Spirit.

If you feel the enemy is winning. If your spirit is weak and joy is fading. You are not alone. Ask for His power, courage and comfort. He will fight for you. He will win.

I can do everything through Him who strengthens me.”   Matthew 7:8

Gerthe-IMGP6502

What’s the responsibility of the Christian Citizen?

“It is commonly believed that decisions in America are made by a majority of the people. This is not so. Decisions are made by a majority of those who vote.” (Bill Bright, The 5 Duties of the Christian Citizen).

Our children’s future is already under water.  Yet everyday I hear Christians say they aren’t going to vote for President because there isn’t a solid Christian to vote for. Really? Their frustration is understandable, however, refusing to vote is choosing to let the ungodly decide the next President of the United States. Are we comfortable with that?

I urge you to read Bill Bright’s The 5 Duties of the Christian Citizen (free downloadable pdf ) and share it with your friends who are struggling with whether or not to vote. Here are some highlights:

* To serve God as a citizen, you must become a regularly participating voter.

* Voting for and supporting moral candidates who support moral public policies is the minimum required of Christian citizens in a system of self-government.

* If there is no qualified candidate who is spiritually mature, vote for the one whose personal principles and platform most nearly agree with your own Christian position based on the Bible.

Many Christians struggle with the fact that neither candidate for President meets the qualification of a godly Christian man. One candidate says with his mouth he’s a Christian but his actions contradict his words. He consistently makes decisions that are in direct violation of the Word of God. The other man has a record of living in light of moral principles consistent with Biblical teaching, however, his Mormon faith is not the Christian faith. I will not speak for individual Mormons (only God can judge the heart), but I can say without reservation that many of the Mormon doctrines, as well as the Book of Mormon, are in direct conflict with the words of God and Jesus in the Bible.

So what is a Christian to do? Your choice in the next few weeks will not only affect the outcome of this election, but it will also influence how your children view their role as a Christian citizen—a responsibility they will uphold or abdicate when they become adults. God, in His Sovereignty, placed us in a country where we have a say in who leads us. It is our duty to take that responsibility seriously. Pray, get involved and vote for the best person available.

The reality is, if the godly don’t pick the next President, the ungodly will. In the words of Steve Brown, “You think about that.”

stethescope heart

And the doctor says…

I was really hoping the doctor would prescribe a pill and my symptoms would go away. I felt “old”. The symptoms varied, but “old” was the best way I could describe what I was experiencing. He did blood work and the results confirmed my fear…no pill would solve my problem. I was over weight and out of shape. If I wanted to feel better I had to deal with the cause.

It’s true that girdles and spanx can be a girls’ best friend, but they can also help her live in denial. My dresser is full of various body sculpting undergarments. I poured myself into them and learned to survive with small, shallow breaths. The scale became my enemy so I stopped getting on it. My energy level plummeted along with my motivation. My body hurt doing the simple tasks of life. Surely all those symptoms added up to something more than lack of discipline!

We live in a culture of quick fixes and pills for every problem. We want to be “spiritual” without investing time getting to know God through His Word and in prayer. We want to be good parents without interrupting our personal plans. We want a great marriage without loving sacrificially. We want healthy bodies without diet and exercise…

Cause and effect. We can pretend it doesn’t exist but in the end the effects of our choices catch up with us and we wonder why it feels like God is far away, we don’t have a good relationship with our kids, spouses search for love in someone else’s arms and we feel old and tired and alone.

What about you? Changing bad habits can be overwhelming.  Remember, you are not alone.  Not only is God  capable of helping you, He delights to do it!  Start with one habit and choose to do one thing today that will move you toward change.

Five months ago I started to exercise. I started slow. The results came even slower. Today I’m still doing it–without pills (except Aleve…lot’s of Aleve!) and I feel…almost young again!

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;  His ears are open to their cries for help. Psalm 34:15 NLT

Firealarm

This is not a drill…

The fire alarm sounded. Students lazily packed their books preparing to stand outside until the drill was done. Suddenly the voice on the intercom changed everything, “This is NOT a drill. I repeat: this is NOT a drill!” A bomb had gone off in a student’s locker. The drill had suddenly become a matter of survival.

Our pastor was one of the kids in the high school that day. He likened his experience to the attitude many of us have toward the spiritual war that’s being waged all around us. The alarm is going off. The danger is real, but most of us are acting like it’s just another drill.

My heart broke recently when I learned that publishers are reluctant to produce family devotion books. I was told parents don’t buy books that require them to be engaged, and a family devotion implies parental participation. Last weekend I participated in a conference and a mom asked me how often we do family devotions. “It’s so hard to make time,” she said sadly. “Everyone is so busy and we just don’t do it.”

My friends, there is an enemy that seeks to devour our children’s souls. He’s subtle, he’s cunning, he’s patient and he’s real. He bombards them every day and we must not only prepare them for the drill, we MUST teach them to take the alarm seriously. This is the reality: 70-75% of children raised in the church reject their faith when they leave home. (Barna research) My first-born will go to college next year. We’ve worked hard to help him build a firm foundation for his faith; shown him how to navigate the dangers and find his way to safety. When the alarms go off in his life he may not make the choice we hope for, but at least he knows he has a choice. Most kids don’t even know they have a choice or how to choose.

Dear parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors, aunts, uncles… THIS IS NOT A DRILL! We don’t have the luxury of hoping someone else will teach our children about who God is and why it matters in their lives. You can’t put it off until tomorrow. I say it again, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.