Posts Tagged ‘God’

Crazy question

Posted: December 4, 2012 in Devotions, religion
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This morning I am reading the Gospel of John and there is a passage that always makes my head spin. Jesus is in Jerusalem and goes to the pool at Bethesda. There are many people there that we would refer as disabled. The ESV uses the term invalid, the blind lame and paralyzed. They were waiting for a pool of water to whirl to get in and be healed. This is where this man was. He has had a disability for 38 years. Jesus asks him a question, “Do you want to be healed?”

This is where my head spins. This guy has been an invalid for 38 years and is waiting to be miraculously healed by a pool of water. This to me seems the act of a desperate man begging for normalcy. Why in the world would someone ask him if he “wanted” to be healed. Of course he wants to be healed! Or at least that’s my first impression. Obviously Jesus asked him for a reason.

His response was that no one was there to help him. That someone else gets to the water first. He never actually said yes. This baffles me. If someone asked if I wanted to be healed. If I had been struggling for 38 years. If someone had the nerve to ask such a question, I would want to yell at them of course. Why ask such a crazy question! Or would I?

I also take note that his particular disability is not named. We can infer that it may be something with his legs as he said he needed someone to put him into the water. In reality it’s not mentioned because it’s not important. What is important is that he needs healing.

I think the question,”do you want to be healed?” is a question we do need to ask ourselves. We can all look inside and see some issue we are struggling with. I’m not talking about a physical issue, but an emotional or spiritual issue. Do we really want to be released from our struggle, or as the man at the pool, are we making excuses because we have grown accustomed to the struggle.  That the issue is now the norm and for it to be taken away we may feel as though part of us is leaving?

John 5

The pool of Bethesda.

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My wife and I went back to our home town, Winterset. It was the Cover Bridge Festival. I don’t get the big deal but it’s fun none the less. You see people from around the world come to a small town in Iowa. They celebrate John Wayne’s birth and the Bridges of Madison County. (I have not watched more than 5 minutes of the actual movie.) It is a big deal for small town Iowa. It brings excitement and hope for many of the small shops that are still in town.

We have only been gone from that town for about three weeks. It is amazing to see how much God has worked there. I heard stories and saw the direction our church there is headed and it creates a deep excitment. I knew when I left that town that God was moving and moving big. It uplifts me knowing God has the control of that town.

It reminds me that God is the one that controls all growth and change. With the new direction God has called on my life and my families life, it’s encouraging. I am praying through what God might have me do and I realize how it’s His plan and not mine. He is asking me to play a role in His story not mine.

I am reminded that God is in charge of all changes. It could be a new ministry, a new name, a different church, or a new town and it is God that needs to be the director of the change. This takes humbleness. We have to step aside and ask, “What direction do you want?” If we don’t do that we won’t have the oppurtunity to truley see what God wants to do.

Sunday I had the privilege of watching a couple of friends get baptized. They proclaimed Jesus as their savior and made the public profession. It was very encouraging to witness and know their hearts. It’s part of the blessing you receive when serving God and looking towards His glory.

There is a passage that hit me this weekend through Pastor Mike’s teaching. It is John 17:20 “My [Jesus] prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.”  I was taken back and had to reread it a few times. Jesus, back when walking on earth, prayed for me. Through scripture and the testimony of the apostle we join in Jesus’ prayer. He took the time knowing who I am, who you are and prayed for us. Wow!

So what did Jesus pray to his father for us? I don’t know about you but it must be pretty important for us.

That all of them may be one. Jesus prayed for unity, that the family of God in the form of the church would have unity and a straight direction under Christ. God wants you and me to come alongside one another and join together under God and set aside differences. We should be able to unite under the direction of scripture and the purpose God has prepared in advance for us.“May they also be in us (that is in Jesus and God the father.”He also prays for the reason behind this unity, “so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

To see Jesus’ glory. Jesus wants us to see Him as God. We should bring worship and celebration over Christ’s sacrifice and redemption He brought us. We need to realize that God the Father gave this honor to His son Jesus. This also was done before time even began. Is your mind blown? ‘Cause I can’t imagine that. Maybe the biggest way we can see His glory is through service. The apostles saw the work of God more than those that just showed up and listened. When you become active in your walk you begin seeing God work in amazing ways. You won’t help but get excited about the glory of Jesus.

Romans 8:31 puts it this way “If God is for us, who is against us?” Jesus has prayed for us as individuals and as a united body. We should be encouraged and uplifted to continue in our pray to God through Jesus. We shouldn’t be afraid to step up and step out to help those hurting. We need to remember that Jesus loved us so much he not only prayed for us but died for us and for those we meet daily. Let’s share that with them.

God bless.

Posted: September 24, 2012 in religion
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I am almost shocked by this article is on CNN. It is a great article about Hell and if it is a real place or not and some information about it. It’s a real discussion that needs to be had. I believe the Bible is clear about the reality of Hell. What do you think? Check it out!

CNN Belief Blog

Editor’s note: The new documentary “Hellbound?” explores Americans’ ideas about hell. We asked two prominent Christians who featured in the film to give us their very different takes on hell.

My Faith: The dangerous effects of believing in hell

Editor’s note: Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is “Crazy For God.”

By Frank Schaeffer, Special to CNN

Is it any coincidence that the latest war of religion that started on September 11, 2001, is being fought primarily between the United States and the Islamic world? It just so happens that no subgroups of humanity are more ingrained with the doctrine of hell than conservative Muslims and conservative Christians.

And nowhere on earth have conservative Christians been closer to controlling foreign policy than here in the United States. And nowhere on earth have conservative Muslims been more dominant than in the countries from which…

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Posted: September 10, 2012 in religion
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What is your take? Do you believe in Creationism? Do you beleive in Evolution? Can you mend the two together?

Personally I believe in the 6 day creation, that God created everything in completion. Evolution is a theory that is unable to be proven. On the side of education shouldn’t the school be teaching to broden thought by teaching more than one theory? Some would say, and I can’t deny it, that the school system is now in the realm of science trying to convince people there is no God. It takes the point of view of atheism and does not allow any other lense of thought.

What are your thoughts?

CNN Belief Blog

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) — Bill Nye does not think that children should be taught to deny evolution, and a YouTube video of him explaining why has gone viral. The CNN Belief Blog’s report on the video has generated around 10,000 comments and thousands of Facebook shares since Monday.

There were some broad themes in the comments, reflecting a debate that is largely unique to the United States.

While Christianity is booming in Africa, Asia and Latin America, creationism is not, Penn State University religious studies professor Philip Jenkins writes in his book “The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South.”

Here are five schools of reaction that have emerged in comments:

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Obedience as a sucker punch

Posted: September 1, 2012 in religion
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Have you ever followed obedience and after taking the step get slammed with a surprise? I feel as though I am being attacked. Not by people. Not by God. We have taking many steps to say “yes Lord” and I feel punched.

Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever experienced that? I am right now. I am reminded though, that God is our shelter. He is our refuge. That means He will protect you during the struggle. I am humbled to know that following God means allowing Him to provide.

There are times that we will follow God and we will have decisions to make. Sometimes, in the moment, the right decision feels as though you get punch in the throat. The timing and reprecussion may hurt at times. The glorious thing is that God will continue to lead you down the path that He needs you to go. He will be your shelter. He will be your strength.

God will never give you more than He can handle. Notice I did not say you can handle. God will give you more than you can handle. When you follow in obedience He may and probably will give you more than you can handle. This allows you to lean in God and experience more than you can imagine. That is my prayer.

I am proud of my wife. She is putting priority on God not comfort. She is choosing ministry over selfish provisions. I love my wife. I love serving with my wife. This softens the sucker punches that come. To serve God with a loving wife is a tremendous blessing.

God knows His plans for you. Plans for good not evil.

I’m Thankful for You

Posted: August 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Life is in a constant transition. Right now I am preparing for the next step in the journey God has for my wife and me. I am looking back and thinking of how much Winterset has been and will always be in my heart a home. This town has been my home now for three years, for my wife it has been longer because she grew up there.

What has made it home for the last three years? My wife’s family is amazing. They have helped us with many needs along the way and I have had a couple opportunities to help them out as well. It has been a learning experience to accept help from family. It has been something new and something I am extremely thankful for.

God has put people in my life, in Winterset, to support growth and maturity. There aren’t enough words to explain the blessing my pastors have been in my life. They have mentored me. They have encouraged me. They have rebuked me. They have cared for me. God has blessed my life immensely with them. God gave them strength to take a risk by allowing me to take responsibilities with the church and with the youth. This taught me leadership and vision. I have witnessed firsthand how to cast vision to a group that may not begin on the same page but become united in the direction. I pray that someday I can bless people the way they have blessed me.

There are so many people that I don’t have time to mention, as well as I know you probably don’t want to take the time to read, that God has used to effect my life. I want to say thank you. I also want to share a passage with you. This passage is my prayer. You have leaders and friends in your life that have sacrificed for you, LIFT THEM UP! Praise God daily for them. I know they have prayed for and guided me beyond what I could imagine. It would be easy to look at a flaw and critique things that could have been different. A lot of people do that on the way to a new beginning. I refuse to because God has put them there to minister and they have. I praise God for you guys from the deepest depths of my heart.

REJOICE ALWAYS! God has been and will continue to do amazing things. Praise Him for it. I give praise because of the vision He’s brought to the church, for the strength He’s given people and for the lives I have seen changed. It is also God’s will for use to be thankful in all circumstances. For me, that means it’s not an option. It is what God wants for me and for you.

Thank you and

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

 

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.  And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Brothers and sisters, pray for us. Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss.  I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.