Who's The Builder?

I really, really love the early morning.  No matter how late I am up at night, I always seem to wake up at the same time every morning...early!  This morning was no different as only the birds were up before me.  But only by a little bit!  One of the joys of my life is to sit out on the back deck reading and meditating on the Word.  Add to that a good cup of coffee and the freshness of another day...it doesn't get much better than that!  This morning as I was enjoying my divine routine the Holy Spirit began to speak to me.  It was as He always does...through His Word.  God has such a cool way of speaking through His Word.  

I was reading psalm 127.  The first two verses are what He used to get my attention:  "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.  Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.  It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors.  For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep."  How encouraging is that!  As I meditated on these verses I began a comparison in my mind.  God can build the house...or I can build the house.  God can keep watch over my life...or I can keep watch over my life.  God can provide for me...or I can provide for me.  You don't have to meditate and compare long to understand that it's better for God to build the house!  It's better for God to watch over your life!  It's better for God to provide!

If you are like me, sometimes you get overwhelmed with stuff in your life.  I'm talking about the stuff that God wants to accomplish for us.  Sometimes we won't let them go long enough for God to do it for us!  If you are always in work, work, work mode because you are carrying the total weight of providing for your family...think about this.  If God is not allowed to be God in it...your labor is in vain!  I want all my labor (hard work) to count!  It only counts when we allow God to be strong in our lives.  Remember...Psalm 127:2 says, "He gives to His beloved even in his sleep."  We all need God to be the builder of what we do.  We can attempt to stay awake 24 X 7 to make sure nothing happens to what we build and accomplish.  But the Scripture says God never sleeps!  That's why He is a much better sentry that we are!

The Book of Psalms is full of encouraging scripture verses.  Listen to these:  Psalm 55:22, "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you.  He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.Psalm 46:10, ""Cease striving and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations.  I will be exalted in the earth."  God is so eager to be God in your life!  He wants to provide for you...even while you are sleeping.  Give Him the opportunity to show Himself strong in your behalf.  Release your burdens to Him right now!  He is so faithful to do exactly what He promises in His Word.  Let Him build the house in your life.  He does a much better job! 

A Dad's Perspective

Fathers Day is a time when we honor our dads by showing our appreciation for them.  While I'm sure we all could find some way to honor our dads every single day - it is so good to have a special day (nationally) when we honor them.  I hope today you have the opportunity to be with your dad.  If your dad has already left, what could be more heart-warming than gathering with your family to remember how awesome he was!

I wanted to share with you today from a Father's perspective.  One of the most incredible experiences of my entire life is to be a dad.  From the day your first-born arrives this awesome experience begins!  Connie and I have 4 children, all of whom are married and out on their own now.  Now we have 7 grandchildren (and counting)!  The "dad" experience keeps getting better and better.

Today I am remembering some of the awesome experiences I've had as a dad.  Of course, I remember the day on which all of our children were born.  Each time was different from the previous, and was equally exciting for me!  I remember hiding in the closet many nights just before the kids would go to bed to growl like the boogie man in order to scare them from the closet.  Of course they knew it was me and knew I was in the closet.  They even knew I was not the boogie man.  Yet they loved it because I would jump out of the closet and "get" them.  (I had to do it for all 4 in 3 different rooms.)  I remember going on vacations and playing in the pool with them.  I remember the football, fishing, band concerts, family Bible studies, little league baseball games, school conferences, youth group trips, missions trips, graduations, weddings, and grandchildren births!  Another overwhelming experience for me as a dad was gaining 3 more daughters and another son through marriage.  In addition to 4 incredible children...we've been given 4 incredible children-in-law, which as far as I'm concerning gives us 8 children all together!

Getting married doesn't make you a dad.  I learned over time how to be a dad.  How did I learn this?  I learned from the Bible.  My children know that I have never been close to perfect at being a dad.  However they know I love God and base my everything (including them) on Jesus.  Connie and I have made it a point to be as real as we believe the Bible teaches us to be with our children.  This includes making some mistakes and admitting to them we are wrong when we do make them.  We are convinced that living by God's principles allows His power to influence your children in Godly ways.  It was my responsibility as a dad to see that our children were raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  As a dad, I am not ashamed to say that sowing God's principles in our children has produced Godly character in our children.

Being a dad carries extreme responsibility.  It carries extreme power to influence and mold.  Please realize being a dad carries the prime responsibility of preparing your children for life.  If you live for Jesus, teach them how to.  They will live for Jesus when they leave the nest.  Don't let Barney or Disney or Nickelodeon teach them.  Don't even let Children's Church or Christian TV be their only source of teaching.  You teach them.  Live for Jesus 24 X 7.  Be real.  Be honest.  Know that the greatest influence you'll ever have on anyone is on your children.

To all dads out there...I'm praying for you.  You have an awesome responsibility.  But you also have before you one of the greatest experiences of your entire life! 

You Are Awesome!

I wish I could see myself sometimes completely in the eyes of my Creator. The older I get, the more I do understand that His perspective of me is a lot different than mine of me. As I grow I am beginning to see of myself who and what He sees. I'm finally learning that I have nothing to give Him but myself. I'm finally learning that I can do nothing for Him. All that I am and all that I can do does nothing to change God. He is already the fullness of full, all by Himself. There is nothing I can say that will build Him up. He is already the Most High God. There is nothing new I can divulge to Him because He already knows everything. If you agree with what I just said then, think about this. Out of His fullness He created you and me. Out of His wisdom and knowledge He brought us forth. From within His infinite power He made you and me!

Do you realize this makes you pretty special? I realize it makes me pretty special too. Unfortunately many people due to life's experiences, can't seem to see anything special about themselves. But the Book says we are "fearfully and wonderfully made". Man! That's good stuff! Because of personal experiences many people cannot see the entire human race as very, very special. Instead some see more value in picketing with "Save the Chicken" signs in front of McDonald's.

I was in deep communion with Him a few weeks ago and I began to feel many of life's inhibitions melt off of me. Here's how it happened. Somewhere in the thickness of His presence I began to sense myself as God knows me. It's as if God placed a heavenly mirror in front of me. It was the kind of mirror that only reflected the truth of who and what He sees. It was awesome. It was incredible! I was actually overwhelmed by who and what I began to sense that I really was. I am God's! God is awesome! You are God's. God is awesome! That makes us awesome too!

I'll have to say that the more I see the truth of who I am in Christ (fearfully and wonderfully made), the more dependent I become on Him. The Bible says that you and I are "His workmanship, created in Christ for good works". What I am and what you are (in Christ) is the work of a truly incredible God. You are eternally significant because you are His work. I am eternally significant because He created me.

Let me encourage you to get to know Him more. The result is you'll get to know the truth about yourself. You are awesome!

Another Morning!


Wow! Another morning...another day filled with opportunities. Some people wake up each morning and say "Good morning Lord!" But others wake up and say "Good lord, It's morning!" Which one are you? How do you look at a brand new day? Today is filled with opportunities, many of which won't pass your way again. Will you look at today as another God-given adventure, or perhaps more time to kill until the weekend?

If you are like me (and I know you are because you are human), you tend to magnify the negative things until you don't see any positive. But the truth is, the positive things in your life are much more numerous than the negative. Sometimes we allow one truly negative occurrence to ruin our day or our week, or for some, their entire outlook on life.

So how will you look at today? That will determine how you live today. Will you head out to work dreading the grind of the job, focusing on all the negative aspects (and there are some)? Or will you focus on the positive things of your life? When is the last time you thanked God for your job? I'm just saying. When is the last time you thanked God for your coworkers? When is the last time you thanked God for your family, health, and home? When is the last time you thanked God for your church family?

Here's a suggestion for you. Deliberately have a grateful heart today and see if your day is any different. Just try it. When your are tempted to focus on negative stuff, arrest those thoughts and be grateful for the good things. Sometimes life can be hard and people can be harsh and cruel. However, there are so many wonderful gifts directly from God that I thank Him for...all the time. Here are just a few: My salvation, His Spirit, my bride, children, grandchildren, friends, and church family. Man! Yea, I said it! Those things are enough to dwell on! Try it. I challenge you to take on today as a day filled with incredible opportunities! You won't regret it.

Some Recent Posts

Here are some of my most recent posts I feel you will enjoy.  I hope you do!  Blessings!

I Really Don't Like Stirring Up Stuff

I really don't like stirring stuff up, but it seems that nowadays when you stand up for things morally correct you stir things up anyway.  It seems those who choose to stand and live for the righteousness of the Bible are in an ever shrinking minority and are trouble makers!  I can see a Scripturally prophetic event taking place...right before my eyes and I pray you can too.  I'll talk about that in a bit.   (More)

As For Me...

One of my favorite phases in the Bible comes from the Old Testament.  The phrase is "As for me..."  The 3-word phrase says a lot about a person.  When a person says "As for me...", they are saying, "As far as I am concerned...".  When a person says "As for me..." they are separating themselves from popular opinion and standing on their personal conviction.  No matter what others say, do, or what they believe, this person is convinced of something - and will not change.   (More)

Who's Raising Your Children?

I like to share from time to time about events from my past, especially my childhood.  As a matter of fact, many of my blog posts are in some way inspired by the events of my younger days!  And having lived now for over half a century (not specifying how much over) it is very easy to look back and compare the way things were...with the way things are.   (More)

Again, I hope you enjoy!  God bless! 

 

I Really Don't Like Stirring Up Stuff

I really don't like stirring stuff up, but it seems that nowadays when you stand up for things morally correct you stir things up anyway.  It seems those who choose to stand and live for the righteousness of the Bible are in an ever shrinking minority and are trouble makers!  I can see a Scripturally prophetic event taking place...right before my eyes and I pray you can too.  I'll talk about that in a bit.

But first in John 7:7 Jesus stated that the world hated Him because He testified about it...that its deeds were evil.  He pulled no punches and sugar-coated nothing.  He simply proclaimed the truth and the way to escape the consequences of wickedness.  Please understand, the world didn't hate Jesus just because He was the Son of God and Messiah. The world hated Jesus because He came speaking out against the sin and wickedness the people of the world were enjoying!  Jesus later stated that if the world hated Him, those who followed after Him would be hated as well.  Why?  Because a follower of Christ lives by a standard that cries out against the flow of the world.  A follower of Christ stands for the righteousness Jesus proclaimed and lives it.  A follower of Christ (like Christ) will speak out against the wickedness of a culture that grows ever more wicked with each generation that comes about.

How does one speak out against the wickedness of the present generation and those to come?  You simply refuse to yield to the standards the world offers.  When our culture plunges to yet deeper depths of evil, you remain firmly planted on the eternal standard of God's Word.  The messages of our society oppose the messages of Jesus.  The standards of our culture oppose the standards of God's Word.  Early on I mentioned a Biblically prophetic event unfolding.  It's very clear to see now and I pray you clearly see it too.  It is simply that those who remain rooted in God's principles will be looked upon as those who are intolerant and filled with hate.  Those who stand for Jesus and refuse to move off His principles appear to oppose the progress of our society.  However, the progress of our society promotes homosexuality, adultery, fornication, murder of babies, infidelity in relationships, lies, falsehood, hypocrisy and more.  This was prophesied by Jesus.  He also says in Matthew 7: 13 -14, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and the are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."  In our culture it is much easier for one to remain "passive" and not stir stuff up.  But the truth is my friend that the time is just about upon us when you'll have to choose.  Taking a stand will make you proactive and a trouble-maker for God's kingdom, and remaining passive will be your heart-made decision to go down the broad path, through the wide gate...leading to destruction.  Sorry if I stirred you up.

As For Me...

One of my favorite phases in the Bible comes from the Old Testament.  The phrase is "As for me..."  The 3-word phrase says a lot about a person.  When a person says "As for me...", they are saying, "As far as I am concerned...".  When a person says "As for me..." they are separating themselves from popular opinion and standing on their personal conviction.  No matter what others say, do, or what they believe, this person is convinced of something - and will not change.  They will live what they believe.  "As for me says", "As far as it goes with me this is what I believe and what I am convinced of.  I will stand on this as a personal conviction.  As a matter of fact, I will establish my life on and build my life on this conviction!"

In the New American Standard Bible this phrase is used in the Old Testament at least 44 times.  Some of the uses are in the negative, but none-the-less it is a statement of conviction.  I love the positive ways "As for me..." is used.  Here are some:
  • "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you..."  (Gen. 17:4 - God to Abraham)
  • "...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  (Josh. 24:15 - Joshua to Israel)
  • "But as for me, I would seek God, and I would place my cause before God..."  (Job 5:8 - Job)
  • "As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives..."  (Job 19:25 - Job)
  • "But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain."  (Psa. 2:6 - God)
  • "But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity..."  (Psa. 26:11 - David)
  • "But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength..."  (Psa. 59:16)
  • "But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more."  (Psa. 71:14 - David)
 "As for me..."rooted in God does not yield to peer-pressure or political correctness. It is based on personal conviction that God's Word is true and never changes.  "As for me..." is personal conviction that God's Word is tried and it is eternal!  The way things are may be different from the way things were, but God's Word is still the same.  It still holds the universe together and is the solid rock that as for me...I will continue to stand on.

The world is falling apart.  Bad stuff continues to happen.  Governments will come and go.  And soon the end will come.  But as for me I will stand on God's Word.  As for me I my hope, peace, and joy (in the midst of it all) is in Him!  How about you!